February 8, 2021
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Highlights of day one of the Australian Open tennis championships at Melbourne Park on Monday. Times local (GMT +11):
1503 10TH SEED MONFILS CRASHES OUT
Frenchman Gael Monfils was beaten 3-6 6-4 7-5 3-6 6-3 by little-known Finn Emil Ruusuvuori in one of the day’s biggest upsets so far.
Monfils, the 10th seed, hit 46 winners but also made 64 unforced errors as he was dumped out in the first round for the second time in his career, the first coming in 2006.
1450 RAONIC HAILS VENUS’S COMMITMENT
“Just in general, you see Venus, she’s out there on court training,” said Raonic of the 40-year-old Williams. “I obviously haven’t seen her when she was younger playing or the way she went about things. But she takes it incredibly seriously.
“She … doesn’t have to be out on tour other than her own desires and her own passion for the sport. I think a lot of people can draw a lot of inspiration from that. She’s constantly here because she loves it.”
1446 SWIATEK SWATS ASIDE RUS
French Open champion Iga Swiatek, the 15th seed, opened her account at the Australian Open with a 6-1 6-3 victory over Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands.
1418 NEAR-PERFECT PERA TOO STRONG FOR KERBER
Unseeded American Bernarda Pera stunned former champion Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-0 6-4 to reach the second round.
Pera struck 26 winners compared to just seven from Kerber as she wrapped up the biggest win of her career in just 70 minutes.
Sublime Serena sails into second round in Melbourne
Osaka sails into second round with Russian demolition
Australian Open order of play on Monday
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Penpix of the top men’s contenders at the Australian Open
Penpix of the top women’s contenders at the Australian Open
1350 WAWRINKA DOWNS SOUSA
Men’s 17th seed Stan Wawrinka beat Portugal’s Pedro Sousa 6-3 6-2 6-4. The Swiss sent down seven aces and hit 35 winners while Sousa made 31 unforced errors, five more than his opponent.
1346 SERENA EASES INTO SECOND ROUND
Serena Williams eased past Germany’s Laura Siegemund 6-1 6-1 to reach the second round. The American hit 16 winners as she wrapped up the one-sided contest in just under an hour, and was eager to wind up her post-match interview as quickly as possible to watch the end of the Super Bowl.
“I gotta go! I gotta go! You’re taking too long,” she said.
1309 RAONIC EASES PAST CORIA
Canada’s Milos Raonic moved into round two with a 6-3 6-3 6-2 win over Argentine Federico Coria.
Raonic, who is seeded 14th, struck 51 winners compared to just nine from his opponent and wrapped up the match in 95 minutes.
1300 VENUS BEATS FLIPKENS IN STRAIGHT SETS
Venus Williams beat Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens 7-5 6-2 to reach the second round in front of about 200 fans on Margaret Court Arena.
Flipkens made 30 unforced errors compared to just 13 by Williams, who also won more than 80% of her first-serve points.
1224 U.S. OPEN CHAMPION NAOMI OSAKA THROUGH
Third seed Naomi Osaka was the first player through to the second round after a 6-1 6-2 thrashing of Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
“I’m just really happy to see people in the stands. It’s been a bit lonely in New York, so thank you guys,” Osaka told a small crowd at Rod Laver Arena.
1109 PLAY GETS UNDERWAY AT 109TH AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Play got underway on time under leaden skies at Melbourne Park with the temperature hovering around the 17 degrees Celsius mark.
There was one locally acquired case of COVID-19 reported in the state of Victoria on Monday, a worker at a quarantine hotel not associated with the tennis.
The championships were delayed by three weeks to allow all players arriving from abroad to quarantine for two weeks.
U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka played Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the opening match on the main showcourt, Rod Laver Arena.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney and Simon Jennings, editing by Richard Pullin/Peter Rutherford)