Day One sees Defeat for Halep as Murray progresses!

Simona Halep has been bombed out of the Australian Open by American Shelby Rogers at the first hurdle. The Romanian was once again beaten by an opponent who wasn’t frightened to take her game to her. The fourth seed was suffering from left knee tendinitis, which she had at the end of last season. Halep said “Definitely she played well. I think she played [to a] very high standard. I had pain in my knee. For me, in the second set, it was difficult to move anymore, but she deserved to win”. Rogers moves on to face Ashleigh Barty. “I think I played great today, trying to be aggressive going out there. My game plan worked. Just move forward, hit your shots, be really aggressive”. Interestingly, Barty is on her return to the sport after taking time out to play professional Cricket. She’s been in decent form aswel. Top seed Angelique Kerber also survived a scare against Lesia Tsurenko, the German blew a 6/2 5/3 lead and found herself in a third. Tsurenko played well here but after saving a break point at start of third, Kerber took control to prevail 6/2 5/7 6/2.Elsewhere Garbine Muguruza struggled past Marina Erakovic, 7/5 6/4. The Spaniard being troubled by a thigh injury. Venus won a scrappy affair against Kateryna Kozlova 7/6(5) 7/5 and   Roberta Vinci lost to Coco Vandeweghe also in straights. There were also wins for Carla Suarez Navarro (despite fitness concerns Pre Tournament), Elina Svitolina and Olympic Champion Monica Puig. Svetlana Kuznetsova also looks to be loving life “I hope I am like wine – and get better with age” she said after dropping one game against Marina Duque-Marino.

Andy Murray kick-started his Tournament with a victory over Illya Marchenko 7/5 7/6(5)6/2. The World Number one was not at his best here, but then again this is all about getting the job done. “I don’t think it was the best match, to be honest” sums it all up! He faces Andrey Rublev next, a young  Russian with a decent Junior career. Kei Nishikori took five sets to get past Andrey Kuznetsov 5/7 6/1 6/4 6/7(6) 6/2, the Russian can prove a tricky opponent and so was the case here. Nishikori  says he’s over his hip injury. Roger Federer won the late night match against his mate, Jurgen Melzer in four sets. “I’m happy with how it went and I think from here on it’s only going to get easier. I’m happy to to win, to be out there … to feel like I’m part of this tournament, not just in the draw, I’m making strides.” Stan Wawrinka loves an early bit of drama doesn’t he? A five set win over Martin Klizan here, a match that had plenty of peaks and troughs, Klizan played well. Stan did show plenty of heart today and came from a back down in the decider,4/6 6/4 7/5 4/6 6/4. Finally Dan Evans set up a Second Round clash with World Number 7 Marin Cilic. Evans comfortably beat Facundo Bagnis 7/6(8) 6/3 6/1, the score line telling the story. Cilic, on the other hand came from two sets down against Jerzy Janowicz. The Pole playing some superb Tennis in the first two sets. Cilic stuck with him though and fought back to score a 4/6 4/6 6/2 6/2 6/3 victory.  There were also comfortable  wins for Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock, J0-Wilfred Tsonga, John Isner, Bernard Tomic and Tomas Berdych progressed when Lucca Vanni retired a set down. An injured Lucas Pouille bowed out to young Russian Alexander Bublik in four sets. Aljaz Bedene suffered a surprise First Round loss to 36 Year Old Victor Estrella from The Dominican Republic.

On Day 2 we see the likes of Djokovic,Nadal,Raonic,Radwanska,Pliskova,Konta and the big one between Serena and Bencic. Squeaky bum time!

Andy Del Potro

 

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