2021 Australian Open: Day One

2021 Australian Open

Melbourne, Australia

The top half of the men’s draw, and the bottom half of the women’s draw began play last night.  The big upset of the day was the tenth seed, Gael Monfils, losing in five sets to [86] Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN).  It was not surprising as Monfils came into the tournament with an injury suffered last week.  It’s always difficult to bounce back from an injury with less than a week to recover. 

Coronavirus Still Impacting Tennis

I often wonder why anyone would play a tournament just before one of the majors; however, there were extenuating circumstances this time, the pandemic, which did not afford the players many opportunities to get reacquainted with competitive play.  Thus, everyone was eager to play despite the potential risk of injury.

[25] Benoit Paire (FRA) was also bounced in the first round.  No surprise either, as his attitude of late has been “uninterested in tennis”.  A pity because Paire is one of those gifted players and it disappoints to see him giving less than 100% effort.

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Williams’ Sisters Win Round One

On the women’s side, both Williams’ sisters got off to promising starts.  Forty-year-old Venus Williams captured a much-needed victory in straight sets over Kirsten Flipkens.  Sister Serena, who came into the tournament with a “questionable shoulder injury”, had no worries.  Despite dropping her first service game in the first set, Serena never looked troubled.  The thirty-nine-year-old stormed back to defeat her opponent 6-1, 6-1

The Other Americans

Five men and four women played on day one.  At the end of the day, four men and three women advanced:

Marcos Giron lost to [6] Alexander Zverev (GER) 7-6 (10), 6-7 (5), 3-6, 2-6.  Surprising, but perhaps not, as [24] Alison Riske came into the tournament with an injury, she lost rather easily to the nineteen-year-old Russian.  Anastasia Potapova had no qualms about defeating the American and advanced to the second round with the 6-2, 6-1 victory.

Frances Tiafoe  and Reilly Opelka won their matches in straight sets.

[27] Taylor Fritz had a bit of a tussle against Albert Ramos Vinolas and had to win two tiebreak sets to claim the four-set victory [7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (6)].

Bernarda Pera defeated the former Australian Open champion, [23] Angelique Kerber (GER), 6-0, 6-4.

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Qualifier, [171] Maxime Cressy, defeated luck loser, Taro Daniel, in straight sets.  The twenty-three-year-old American who was born in Paris, France won 7-6 (1), 7-6 (3), 6-4.

Another Fallen Seed

[30] Qiang Wang (CHN) lost to [131] Sara Errani (ITA) in what has to have been a meltdown.   Wang took the first set 6-2.  Yet, everyone who follows tennis knows that Errani will never back down.  Despite a wobble, she held on to win the second set. The third set was a mental collapse from Wang, who had a 4-2 lead. The thirtieth seed never recovered and lost the match 6-2, 4-6, 4-6.  

SOURCE of IMAGES: Getty Images

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