Today marked the start of the 2022 Australian Open Grand Slam Tennis tournament at Melbourne Park.
Following a fortnight of drama involving World No. 1 Men’s player and defending champion, Novak Djokovic, who was deported yesterday, the first day of play got underway without any hiccups, unless of course, you were one of the unlucky players who got ousted in the first round.
Tough day for the South Africans as Anderson and Harris are sent packing
It was not a good day for the South African players, with Kevin Anderson losing to the in-form American, Reilly Opelka 3-6 4-6 6-7(7).
Australia’s Alexander Vukic defeated Lloyd Harris 4-6 6-3 7-5 7-6(3).
Nadal breezes through as Zverev and Berrettini are tested on Day 1
The 6th seed, Rafael Nadal of Spain sailed past Marcos Giron of America, 6-1 6-4 6-2 in 1h49m on Rod Laver Arena.
Alexander Zverev, the 3rd seed from Germany built up a sweat in defeating fellow countryman, Daniel Altmaier 7-6(3) 6-1 7-6(1). Zverev is currently one of the favourites to lift the Norman Brookes trophy.
Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, seeded 7th this year, dropped the first set before battling past the American Brandon Nakashima, 4-6 6-2 7-6(5) 6-3.
The Barty party gets underway
World No. 1, Top seeded Ladies contender and local favourite, Ashleigh Barty needed just 54 minutes to dismiss Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko 6-0 6-1 in a masterclass performance. Barty’s great 2021 form is continuing, having recently won the Adelaide International Singles and Doubles (alongside Storm Sanders) titles and she is the firm favourite to lift the Daphne Akhurst trophy.
Badosa continues to chip away towards her first Grand Slam title
Paula Badosa of Spain, seeded 8th, is another hot favourite in the Ladies draw. Badosa added the Sydney International title to her collection on Saturday and today, wasted no time in dashing another local favourite, Ajla Tomljanovic’s hopes 6-4 6-0.
It was good to see Naomi Osaka back on the tour as she advanced to the second round after defeating Camila Osorio 6-3 6-3.
In an all American match, Madison Keys, who won the Adelaide International 2 title on Saturday, battled past the 11th seed, Sofia Kenin 7-6(2) 7-5.
Coco Gauff also found her singles title hopes dashed, when she lost to Wang Qiang of China, 6-4 6-2.