Australian Open 2023: Andy Murray will plays Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis on day four

Andy Murray of the United Kingdom will attempt to advance to the third round of the Australian Open for the first time in six years on Thursday, but rain delays prevented him from learning who his opponent would be until later.

Murray, a five-time finalist, will face Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia, who finished up his postponed victory over Fabio Fognini late on Wednesday.

I have a lot of respect for Andy, said Kokkinakis, 26.

In the second night session match on Margaret Court Arena, he takes on Murray.

“He was someone I could always count on for advice when I first started the tour. Honestly, we get along great “Kokkinakis added.

“I remember watching him when I was younger, thinking this dude looks moody as hell, he looks miserable.

“Then when you get to know him, he is actually a ripper bloke and a good guy.”

Kokkinakis beat Fognini 6-1 6-2 6-2 in a match that took place across 24 hours due to several rain delays, while former world number one Murray pulled off a dramatic five-set win over Italian 13th seed Matteo Berrettini on Tuesday.

In other events on day four, men’s record nine-time champion Novak Djokovic plays French qualifier Enzo Couacaud as he continues his Melbourne comeback. Rafael Nadal’s shocking second-round exit on day three has given Djokovic more momentum in his quest to win a record-equaling 22nd major championship.

At 00:00 GMT, British number two Dan Evans will take on Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in an effort to advance to the third round of the competition for the second year in a row.

Casper Ruud, the second-seeded male, is in action against Jenson Brooksby, while Alexander Zverev, the former world no. 2, will try to build on his first singles victory after coming back from injury against Michael Mmoh.

Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, the second seed in the women’s draw, will take on Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic in an attempt to advance to the third round and join world number one Iga Swiatek.

Day four of play at Rod Laver Arena begins with Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, the fifth seed, taking on American Shelby Rogers before French fourth seed Caroline Garcia faces the brilliant Canadian Leylah Fernandez.

The doubles tournament also begins, as the top seeds, British player Neal Skupski and his Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof, face off against Alexander Bublik and John-Patrick Smith in the first round. The 11th seeds Michael Venus and Cristian Rodriguez will also play against Hunter Reese and Jamie Murray.

The fifth-seeded Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka will first face Shelby Rogers of the United States on Day 4 of competition at Rod Laver Arena, followed by the talented Canadian Leylah Fernandez and France’s Caroline Garcia, the fourth seed.

The doubles competition gets underway as well, with Alexander Bublik and John-Patrick Smith up against British player Neal Skupski and his Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof in the opening round. Along with Hunter Reese and Jamie Murray, the 11th seeds Michael Venus and Cristian Rodriguez will also compete.