The first round of the Australian Open got underway earlier today in Melbourne. After weeks of real uncertainty because of the Australian government’s strict COVID rules, competitors were finally able to take to the court.
Novak Djokovic progressed to the second round with ease with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 victory of Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.
This was Chardy’s 14th consecutive defeat though he won’t be too disheartened.
It was a dominating display by the World’s number one who headed into the tournament as the bookies favourite.
Nick Kyrgios knocked out Fabio Silva of Portugal with a resounding victory. The Australian native won the tie with a three-set victory, winning each of them 6-4. He’ll face Frenchman Ugo Humbert in the next round after he beat Yasutaka Uchiyama by four sets to one.
There has already been a big upset as World number 10 Gael Monfils was beaten by Finnish national Emil Ruusuvuori. The Frenchman broke down in tears after the defeat as Ruusuvuori won the final set 6-3 in what was a five-set thriller.
Monfils hasn’t won a match since the 27th of February last year when he beat fellow countryman Richard Gasquet in the Dubai Duty-Free Championships.
World number six Alexander Zverev made quick work of his first-round opponent. He beat the American Marcos Giron 7-6, 6-7, 3-6, 2-6. Keen not to make the same mistakes as Monfils, Zverev tightened up after a sloppy first set to see out the win. He didn’t give up any breaks of serve after that first set.
Last year’s men’s singles runner-up Dominic Thiem waltzed through to the second round. He secured a straight-sets victory over Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan. Thiem will be hoping to go one better this year and looks in good stead to do so.
2014 winner Stan Wawrinka saw off Pedro Sousa in a straight-sets win. The Swiss will face Bulgarian Marton Fucsovics in the next round on Wednesday.
Leicester born Katie Boulter exited the tournament after she was beaten in straight sets by Daria Kasatkina. She’s now focusing on fitness for Wimbledon after a disappointing showing in this year’s Australian Open.
Serena Williams sailed through to the next round as she beat the German Laura Siegemund 1-6, 1-6. Now ranked 10th in the world, Williams will certainly fancy her chances in the next round. She’ll be facing Nina Stojanovic of Serbia.
World number two Simona Halep breezed through to the next round as did World number three Naomi Osaka. They beat Lizette Cabrera and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova respectively. Both were straight-set victories.
Halep will face Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia whilst Osaka will take on Caroline Garcia in the next round.