'Insane': TV network savaged over 'atrocious' Aus Open error

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·Sports Reporter
·5-min read
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ESPN mistakenly showed an image of Wang Qiang when promoting the match between Wang Xinyu and Aryna Sabalenka. Pictures: Twitter/Getty Images
ESPN mistakenly showed an image of Wang Qiang when promoting the match between Wang Xinyu and Aryna Sabalenka. Pictures: Twitter/Getty Images

Frustrated tennis fans overseas have savaged TV coverage of the Australian Open provided by ESPN, after their broadcast was plagued by errors on day four of the grand slam.

Social media was awash with complaints about the quality of the broadcast on Thursday, but the network's most glaring error was their confusion between two Chinese players in a promotional segment.

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A graphic broadcast ahead of Wang Xinyu and Aryna Sabalenka's match did not actually feature an image of Xinyu, instead showing Wang Qiang.

Fans were further frustrated by the inconsistent cuts between different show courts making it difficult to keep track of the matches being played.

Additionally, complaints ran thick and fast about the quality of the coverage.

Many were irritated by the focus of the coverage, which seemed to drift too far away from the on-court action for some.

In particular, American fans were left frustrated after having difficulty being able to watch US stars Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz, one fan describing ESPN's offering as 'absolutely insane'.

Highly popular England-based podcast, The Tennis Podcast, picked up their Wang Xinyu error and was subsequently scathing of the broadcast quality on Twitter.

“Honestly an unacceptable Day 4 for ESPN,” the podcast posted on Twitter.

“They’ve cut off streaming for the three biggest show courts and just showed Wang Qiang in the promo for the Sabalenka match instead of Wang Xinyu.”

There were a litany of other complaints from social media users.

Alex De Minaur romps into Australian Open third round

Alex De Minaur is one step closer to reaching the Australian Open second week for the first time after sweeping aside Kamil Majchrzak in straight sets to progress to the third round.

The 22-year-old equalled his best performance at his home slam, where he previously made the third round in 2019 and 2021, by comfortably accounting for the world No.107, 6-4 6-4 6-2.

It was de Minaur's first career win on Rod Laver Arena and earned him a golden opportunity to reach the last 16 via a match-up with Spanish veteran Pablo Andujar.

"I know Pablo very well. I've hit a lot with him," said No.32 seed de Minaur who has spent a lot of time based in Spain.

"He's a ripping competitor. He's had some amazing wins.

"It's a great position for me to be in and look, I'm just enjoying every second of it.

"Just keeping those positive vibes going and hopefully we can keep it going."

Alex de Minaur has progressed through to the third round of the Australian Open. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)
Alex de Minaur has progressed through to the third round of the Australian Open. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

De Minaur has thrived on his return to Australia after a COVID-19 affected 2021, with a strong ATP Cup setting him up for his impressive start to the Open.

"I had a bit of a down year last year so I really wanted to make up for it," he said.

"Made sure to really work hard in the off-season to be in the best shape I've ever been in my career and hard work pays off.

"I'm happy to be able to play well and hopefully let my fitness do the talking."

De Minaur, who didn't drop his serve throughout the match, took his opportunities when they came when receiving in the opening two sets.

He had just one break point in each set but converted both to take the upper hand.

Australia's No.1 man needed just 27 minutes to see out the third set and was composed when serving for the match, closing out the contest with an ace.

With AAP

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