Australian Open 2017 Day 1: The first Grand Slam Tournament of the year is underway now as the Australian Open 2017 started earlier today and as the first day of the tournament is coming to an end, it can be very well summed up as an eventful one with quite a number of top players surviving the scare of an early possible exit.
On the women’s front, World number one Angelique Kerber started the defence of her Australian Open title with a tense 6-2 5-7 6-2 win over Lesia Tsurenko on Rod Laver Arena. However, World number four Simona Halep, who needed medical attention on a knee injury, was the first big seed to fall, beaten 6-3 6-1 by Shelby Rogers.
Seventh seed Garbine Muguruza got her opening day at Melbourne Park off to a good start, beginning proceedings at Margaret Court Arena with a 7-5 6-4 win over Kiwi Marina Erakovic. In an all-American battle out on Court 10, Samantha Crawford came back from one set down to upset compatriot Lauren Davis, a first-time WTA title winner in Auckland just a fortnight ago. Crawford, who sits nearly 120 rankings places below Davis at world No.162, dominated the final set to win 4-6 6-3 6-0. Former semifinalist and crowd favourite Jelena Jankovic has reversed last year’s second round defeat to German Laura Siegemund, edging out the No.26 seed 6-1 1-6 6-4 in a 2-hour 37-minute clash on Court 8. 2003 Australian open winner Venus Williams beat Kateryna Kozlova 7-6 (7-5) 7-5.
Other afternoon winners on the women’s side included Latvian No.32 seed Anastasija Sevastova, who advanced after Japan’s Nao Hibino was forced to withdraw, Romanian Sorana Cirstea, Frenchwoman Pauline Parmentier, No.24 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, 11th-seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele and Czech Kristyna Pliskova, twin sister of No.5 seed Karolina who takes to the courts on Tuesday.
On the men’s front, Swiss Tennis legend Roger Federer Comfortably cruised through to a first round victory after a minor second-set scare ousting Austrian Jurgen Melzer 7-5 3-6 6-2 6-2. Also, it took Andy Murray two sets to get going but the Scot won his first match in a major tournament since becoming world No.1 beating 95-ranked Illya Marchenko 7-5 7-6(5) 6-2 and is poised to take on 19-year-old Russian Qualifier Andrey Rublev. Melbourne Park continued to be a graveyard for men’s 16th seed Lucas Pouille, the Frenchman losing in the first round for the fourth year in succession after Kazakhstan qualifier Alexander Bublik triumphed 6-0 3-6 6-3 6-4. Men’s 12th seed and 2008 Melbourne runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga recovered strongly from a third-set blip to eliminate Brazil’s Tiago Monteiro 6-1 6-3 6-7(5) 6-2. Also, 4th seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka was part of an action-packed match against Slovakia’s Martin Klizan emerging victorious 4-6 6-4 7-5 4-6 6-4.