Day 1 of the Aussie Open is over! Grand Slam tennis is back and I couldn’t be more excited. The time difference makes keeping up with the matches and tennis news tough, but who needs sleep. Definitely overrated.
Here are some quick hot takes of the first day.
FEDERER IS BACK: It’s is so great to have Roger back on the court smiling and playing tennis. Period. Full stop.
The top women’s seeds faced some predictable struggles.
Kerber, dealing with the pressure of defending a Grand Slam title and the number one ranking for the 1st, was pushed to a 3rd set by Tsurenko but prevailed 6-2 5-7 6-2. Getting through these first rounds will be a test for Kerber, but I think she’ll ride the rocky waves into the 2nd week.
Halep, seeming to be hampered by a knee injury, couldn’t fight her way past the big hitting and former French quarterfinalist Shelby Rogers. Take her legs and speed away from Halep, and there isn’t much she can do. Hoping she’s healthy for the clay season because she’s a treat to watch on clay
Venus and Muguruza (also battling an injury) didn’t play fantastic, but both found a way into the next round. Don’t expect too much from these two in this tourney. Maybe later in the season…aka grass and US hard court times…for them to find their form.
The top men also faced some tough tests early on. Though not nearly as predictable as the women’s ones.
Sir Andy didn’t play great, but as a champ does, made sure he won in 3 straight tests. No worries for him in these early rounds. Not until the quarters.
The 2nd tier of less predictable title threats found things a lot more interesting. Video game playing Jerzy Janowicz blew a 2 sets to love lead over Marin Cilic. Totally hit or miss Klizan took Stan to 5 sets. And a hobbled Nishikori lived life on the edge but found a way to win. Don’t see a hampered Nishikori or a Cilic making much of an impact here. Stan does play well at the Aussie Open and can turn it on for a big match. Or totally flame out…
Some sentimental winners on the women’s side. Love seeing our gold-medalist Puig pick up a dominant win (6-0 6-1). Puig’s draw has opened up with Halep out. If Puig stays positive, she could ride a wave into the 2nd week. Cricketer Ash Barty is back playing tennis in her homeland and has a winnable match against Halep-conqueror Rogers. Surprise last year quarterfinalist Shuai Zhang continued her good play down under with a solid win.
Good day for the Aussies. Bernie Tomic and Nick Kyrgios both won their matches in 3 relatively easy straight sets. I repeat. Tomic and Kyrgios won in a non-complicated manner. De Minaur, Ash Barty, and Fourlis also won for the hometown crowd. Don’t expect much from any of them. Though will be amazing to watch Nick play Stan…if they both get there.
My big disappointment of the day. Daria Kasatkina lost 6-0 7-6 to Shuai Peng. Everyone has been rightly talking up Kasatkina’s stock for this upcoming season. While Peng is a former US Open semifinalist, definitely disappointing to see Kasatkina crash out so early.
So many stories as the new tennis season starts. Love the Aussie Open. So many crazy upsets tend to happen at this slam. What stood out to you on Day 1? Let me know in the comments below or on twitter @DrFsThoughts.
Stay tuned for Day 2!