Day 2 of the Australian Open saw many quality players start their journey at this year’s tournament. This included past champions and emerging contenders. It was no surprise then that the audience were treated to some wonderful tennis. Here are the highlights of Day 2.
Roger Federer beat Aljaz Bedene 6-3 6-4 6-3: continues to defy logic. I think defiance is too a weak a word, though. I think it is more accurate to say that the Swiss master laughs in the face of it. At his age, most tennis players quit the sport and start to look at what’s next for them. Roger Federer, though, is not most tennis players. He is arguably the greatest tennis player ever and the desire which has taken him to the very top of the summit burns as brightly as ever. This was another Federer master class. One which we have sat through a million times before but one which never gets boring. Federer beat his opponent, a solid player, with the sort of effortlessness which has become his trademark. Bedene tried his best but never really stood a chance. And if Federer continues in this form, not many others will too.
Maria Sharapova beat Tatjana Maria 6-1 6-4: looked sharp on her return to Melbourne. She missed last year’s event due to her doping ban and looked like she wanted to prove a point from the start of the match. The 2008 champion raced out of the blocks, breaking her opponent immediately with heavy and deep ground strokes allowing her to dictate the play. Sharapova’s dominance on return was phenomenal in the first set, winning 63 per cent of the points when receiving serve. Though her opponent put up a better fight in the second set, the Russian superstar still cruised to victory. 14th seed Anastasija Sevastova or Varvara Lepchenko await Sharapova in the next round.
Novak Djokovic beat Donald Young 6-1 6-2 6-4: enjoyed a successful return to action after recovering from the elbow injury which plagued him for much of last year. During his time out, the Serbian has gained more body weight and tweaked his serve. Those changes seemed to have a positive impact on his game. With a little more ballast behind his groundstrokes and with his new, abbreviated service action, Djokovic easily swept aside his error-prone opponent. That said, Djokovic still has room to improve and needs to if he has ambitions of lifting another Grand Slam. Speaking after the match, he said, “An injury is something that no athlete wants to have, but at the end of the day I had time to reflect on my life, my game, spend time with the family. I had that, but I’m really glad to be back.”
Andrea Petkovic (Ger) bt (27) Petra Kvitova (Cze) 6-3 4-6 10-8
(14) Anastasija Sevastova (Lat) bt Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 3-6 6-3 6-2
(28) Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (Cro) bt Shelby Rogers (USA) 7-6 (8-6) 5-7 6-2
(1) Simona Halep (Rom) bt Destanee Aiava (Aus) 7-6 (7-5) 6-1
(9) Johanna Konta (Gbr) bt Madison Brengle (USA) 6-3 6-1
(21) Angelique Kerber (Ger) bt Anna-Lena Friedsam (Ger) 6-0 6-4
(16) Elena Vesnina (Rus) bt Ons Jabeur (Tun) 6-3 6-4
(25) Fabio Fognini (Ita) bt Horacio Zeballos (Arg) 6-4 6-4 7-5
(26) Adrian Mannarino (Fra) bt Matteo Berrettini (Ita) 6-4 6-4 6-4
Tim Smyczek (USA) bt Alexei Popyrin (Aus) 6-3 6-7 (14-16) 6-3 6-3
Hyeon Chung (Kor) bt (32) Mischa Zverev (Ger) 6-2 4-1 ret
Evgeny Donskoy (Rus) bt Florian Mayer (Ger) 6-4 6-4 6-4
(21) Albert Ramos-Vinolas (Spa) bt Jared Donaldson (USA) 6-2 6-3 6-4
(9) Stan Wawrinka (Swi) bt Ricardas Berankis (Lit) 6-3 6-4 2-6 7-6 (7-2)
Preview of Day 3:
Every Grand Slam produces a surprise package, and already at this year’s Australian Open there are several of them. But it’s arguable that none are as impressive as Marta Kostyuk, who, at age 15, can already boast 10 straight match wins at Melbourne Park. The winner of the Australian Open girls’ title in 2017, the Ukrainian teen earned entry into the AO2018 main draw as the youngest qualifier in 13 years. That feat alone was astonishing enough; on Monday, Kostyuk became the youngest winner of a main draw match since Martina Hingis in 1996, when she dismantled No.25 seed Peng Shuai 6-2 6-2 in just 57 minutes. Kostyuk will face Australia’s Olivia Rogowska in the second-round. Another young player with the power to surprise is 18-year-old Denis Shapovalov – although few would be truly shocked if the Canadian pulled off an upset of No.15 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round of the men’s draw. Belinda Bencic is another player wise to guard against a letdown, after her first-round upset of Venus Williams. But the 20-year-old Swiss meets world No.124 qualifier Luksika Kumkhum high on confidence knowing that both form and full health have returned.
For updates regularly visit: Allsportspk