The first week at the Australian Open tennis has now been completed. We take a look back at some of the highs and lows.
At the start of the Open, there was a strong Australian contingent as 12 men and 10 women had made it into the main draw. At the end of the week, it was just Ash Barty that moves into week two. The top-ranked Australian booked herself a rematch of the Sydney International final with Petra Kvitova.
Barty defeated Luksika Kumkhum THA 6-2, 6-2. R2 d Wang Yafan CHN 6-2, 6-3. R3 d Maria Sakkari GRE 7-5, 6-1. R4 d Maria Sharapova (30) RUS 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 on her path to the quarterfinals. She is the first Australian to go that far since Jelena Dokic in 2009.
The standouts for the Australian men were the wildcards Alexei Popyrin and Alex Bolt, both advancing to the third round. Popyrin going down in five sets to Lucas Pouille. Alex de Minaur also reached the third round losing to Rafael Nadal.
Both Defending Champions Ousted
Caroline Wozniacki lost in the third round to Maria Sharapova 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. That was a clash between the 2018 champion in Wozniacki and the 2008 champion in Sharapova.
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Photo: Roger Federer says goodbye, perhaps for the last time in Australia
Roger Federer (3) was the two-time defending champion. He came undone in the fourth round losing to ATP NextGen champion Stefanos Tsitsipas in four sets. Federer said in the press conference that followed that he had ‘Massive regrets’ about how he played in that match. The 20-time grand slam singles champion could not convert any of the 12 break points that he earned.
Australian Open seeds take a tumble
Over the first week five of the top-10 females were eliminated and six of the top-10 male players
John Isner (9) was the first of the top-10 seeds to fall, on the opening day he lost to fellow monster serving USA player Reilly Opelka across four tiebreak sets. Daria Kasatkina (10) lost her opening round match on day two, losing to Timea Bacsinszky 6-3, 6-0.
Day three saw Kiki Bertens (9) go down in three sets to Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. That match was followed by Kevin Anderson (5) losing to Frances Tiafoe in four sets.
On day four it was Dominic Thiem (7) who we would say goodbye to. He retired from his match against Australian Alexei Popyrin. Day five saw Sharapova end Wozniacki’s title defence in three sets. Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut ended the run of Russia’s Karen Khachanov (10).
It was on day seven that we saw some of the biggest upsets. Tsitsipas ending Roger’s reign as champion and 2016 women’s champion Angelique Kerber (2) was humbled by USA’s Danielle Collins. The two-time NCAA tennis champion defeating Kerber 6-0, 6-2 in under an hour. 2018 men’s runner-up Marin Cilic (6) also was shown the door, he lost to Spain’s new giant killer Bautista Agut in a close to four-hour five-set battle.
Experienced former champions stay strong
Former champions Rafael Nadal (2009) and Novak Djokovic (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016) safely navigated the first week and are set to meet in the final.
On the women’s side, Serena Williams (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2017) eased her way into a blockbuster fourth-round match against the current world no. 1 and 2018 runner-up Simona Halep.
Grand Slam Champions into the second week
Serena Williams is the standout player in terms of grand slam singles title won, she stands at 23. Two-time Wimbledon winner Kvitova and Garbiñe Muguruza with a French Open and Wimbledon are next, then single grand slam title holders Halep and Osaka are also into the second week.
On the men’s side, it is Nadal and Djokovic that still remain and hold Grand Slam titles. Djokovic is up to 14 and Nadal stands at 17.
The business end of the tournament is now underway. Upsets and great tennis are sure to be seen.