Australian Open results: Emma Raducanu stuns Sloane Stephens, Nick Kyrgios wins

If you thought Ash Barty’s opening round statement was something to behold, Emma Raducanu’s got some news for you.

Another five Aussies have booked their place in the second round of the Australian Open on day two of the event.

As Ash Barty blasted her way into the second round on Monday, Nick Kyrgios, Alex de Minaur, Sam Stosur, Maddison Inglis and Chris O’Connell all advanced to the next round.

Big names including Emma Raducanu, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas all made massive statements, while the likes of women’s second seed Aryna Sabalenka did things the hard way, taking three sets to get past wildcard Storm Sanders.

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Nineteen-year-old US Open champion Raducanu was last up on Margaret Court Arena at just before midnight but the teenager superstar showed why she is the darling of the tennis world against Sloane Stephens.

Playing the 28-year-old American, who won the 2017 US Open, Raducanu dominated her opening set in her first trip to the Australian Open in a remarkable performance.

The first set was over 6-0 in just 17 minutes and Stephens won just four points.

It left the tennis world in shock.

But Stephens is a former world No. 3 for a reason and bit back in the second set. In the first game she earned a break on Raducanu’s serve, but it took 14 minutes — almost longer than the entire first set.

It proved to be the beginning of a monumental fightback as Stephens bounced back to win the second set 6-2.

But in the most bizarre of matches, Raducanu fought back in the third set and took it out 6-1, although she didn’t believe it was as lopsided as it seemed.

“Coming out in the first set, I thought I played some very good tennis with very little unforced errors, and then of course there was going to be some adversity and the long rallies, she was just edging through with her defence,” Raducanu said on court post-match.

“So I’m happy to have regrouped and again in the third set, again I don’t really think the score reflected the level out there because I was really feeling it and focusing on getting every single ball in landing between the lines.”

Day two results

Rod Laver Arena

Garbine Muguruza (3) beat Clara Burel 6-3 6-4.

Iga Swiatek (7) beat Harriet Dart (Q) 6-3 6-0

Daniil Medvedev (2) defeated Henri Laaksonen 6-1 6-4 7-6

Aryna Sabalenka (2) defeated Storm Sanders (AUS) (WC) 5-7 6-3 6-2

Stefanos Tsitsipas (4) defeated Mikael Ymer 6-2 6-4 6-3

Margaret Court Arena

Rebecca Peterson beat Daria Saville (AUS) (WC) 6-2 6-3.

Andrey Rublev (5) beat Gianluca Mager 6-3 6-2 6-2

Simona Halep (14) defeated Magdalena Frech 6-4 6-3

Alex de Minaur (AUS) (32) defeated Lorenzo Musetti 3-6 6-3 6-0 6-3

Emma Raducanu (17) defeated Sloane Stephens 6-0 2-6 6-1

John Cain Arena

Sorana Cirstea beat Petra Kvitova (20) 6-2 6-2

Annett Kontaveit (6) beat Katerina Siniakova 6-2 6-3

Andy Murray (WC) defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili (21) 6-1 3-6 6-4 6-7 6-4

Nick Kyrgios (AUS) defeated Liam Broady (Q) 6-4 6-4 6-3

Other Aussies in action: Sam Stosur (AUS) (WC) defeated Robin Anderson (WC) 6-7 6-3 6-3

Chris O’Connell (AUS) (WC) defeated Hugo Gaston 7-6 6-0 4-6 6-1

Maddison Inglis (AUS) (WC) defeated Leylah Fernandez (23) 6-4 6-2

Marketa Vondrousova (31) defeated Priscila Hon (AUS) (WC) 6-2 6-3

Steve Johnson defeated Jordan Thompson (AUS) 7-6 6-7 4-6 6-3 6-3

Clara Tauson defeated Astra Sharma (AUS) 6-3 6-4

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina defeated Alex Bolt (AUS) 6-3 6-3 6-4

Arthur Rinderknech defeated Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 7-5 4-6 6-2 3-6 6-3

Demon comes back in open draw

Australia’s highest-ranked men’s player Alex de Minaur opened his Australian Open campaign with a win, bouncing back from a set down to claim a 3-6 6-3 6-0 6-3 victory over Italian Lorenzo Musetti.

De Minaur had a tough finish to his 2021 season after he contracted Covid, which knocked his confidence around. He had to withdraw from the Olympics and struggled to find his form.

But he may just have found it again, bouncing back from an early deficit to claim the victory.

And his draw has opened up too after 8th seed Casper Ruud pulled out of the Australian Open with an ankle injury.

Ruud was in De Minaur’s half of the draw, meaning the young Aussie won’t have to play another seeded player until the fourth round and no top 10 seeds until the quarterfinals, should he get that far.

Kyrgios’ sportsmanship act in ‘crazy’ scenes

Love him or hate him, Nick Kyrgios is a born entertainer.

Up against world No. 128 Brit Liam Broady, Kyrgios brought out all his tricks to claim a 6-4 6-4 6-3 first round drubbing.

It sets up a mouth-watering second round clash against world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, which will be must-watch.

Without Novak Djokovic at the tournament, Medvedev is the highest ranked player in the men’s draw.

Whatever happens, we know viewers will be entertained.

After breaking in the first game of the match against Broady on Tuesday night, Kyrgios went straight through his service game, sending down a 220km/h serve to the body, before delivering an underarm serve between his legs.

The appreciative crowd at John Cain Arena were vocally supporting Kyrgios. Journalist Jose Morgado tweeted right from the outset that the “crowd is crazy already”.

The underarm tweener serve that he actually won sent social media wild for the Aussie star.

Kyrgios didn’t have to do much more than serve out the set, taking it 6-4.

Kyrgios was landing an incredible 83 per cent of his first serves and crushed a massive 10 aces. And he started the second set by breaking immediately and then holding his first service game with another tweener.

The Aussie tried a behind the back serve that didn’t go quite as well. It led to someone from the crowd yelling “Underarm Liam” which gave both players a good laugh.

But fool Liam Broady once, twice and the third time he’ll be ready. Another underarm serve at 2-1 saw the Brit pounce all over it, although Kyrgios still won the game.

The crowd was going absolutely nuts, a little too nuts for Kyrgios’ liking during his opponent’s serve as they shout “Siuuu”, which is called out during Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal celebration.

But while the fans were getting rowdy, Kyrgios called for the umpire to stand in to give Broady a fighting chance on his serve. It was a classy moment of sportsmanship.

At a change of ends late in the second set, Kyrgios told the umpire to keep the crowd in check when the Brit was serving.

“Tell them to calm it down when he’s serving,” Kyrgios said. “Tell them now.

“I don’t mind if they scream and stuff if we’re between serves and stuff but if he’s serving, tell them to relax. I don’t care for my serves that much but for him you know. I kind of know I created this s***show anyway but …”

As fans continued to chant after the match as Kyrgios did his post-match interview, the Aussie said: “I don’t know what I’ve done to this crowd because you guys are a zoo now.”

Kyrgios slaps down rival’s ‘outrageous BS’

Nick Kyrgios has always been a showman and has vowed to continue to be, even if it means he’s not sure what his career will hold.

Just last week, after getting bundled out of Australian Open qualifying before testing positive to Covid, Bernard Tomic said he “will win Wimbledon” as he has one last charge in his career.

Kyrgios told the Herald Sun not to expect the same pronouncements from him.

“I’m not Bernard Tomic, and I won’t give you some outrageous bulls***,” Kyrgios said.

“I’ll be honest and say I’m going to soak up every moment of this AO. I don’t know what I’ll be doing in a year’s time.

“I know my personality, I know how unpredictable I feel, I know I live spontaneously. I don’t know what I’ll be doing in a year.”

Spontaneous is definitely what you’d call Kyrgios as he has been outspoken and let his frustrations out in the past, whether at his box or his opponent or the umpires.

But he’s not afraid to speak his mind.

“People are learning to respect that’s just my personality. It might be unorthodox, and not professional in some people’s eyes to live like that as an athlete, but it’s just who I am. It’s a fun way to live. Spontaneous,” he said.

“At the end of my career, at the end of my life, no-one can say I didn’t have fun, and I didn’t do it my way.”

‘Come on Andy’: Australia gets behind Murray

Usually Australia is quick to claim New Zealanders as our own but it maybe if you lose five Australian Open titles you can be an honorary Aussie.

Three-time grand slam winner and former World No. 1 Andy Murray has the fans right behind him as he upset 21st seed Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1 3-6 6-4 6-7 6-4 in a five-set thriller.

The crowd were cheering “Come on Andy” as he had support like an Aussie at Melbourne Park.

Murray is a fan favourite at Melbourne Park, having fallen just short of a title in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016, the first of which he lost to Roger Federer and the remainder to Novak Djokovic.

But it’s Murray’s 14th Australian Open campaign, having first come to Australia in 2005, and the first since recovering from two hip replacements.

Jordan Thompson crashes out

Aussie Jordan Thompson has failed to take advantage of an injured Steve Johnson as the American claimed a tight five-setter 7-6 6-7 4-6 6-3 6-3.

The Aussie lost the first but looked like he was going to run away with the win after winning the second and third sets but it wasn’t to be as despite an injury hampering Johnson, Thompson was unable to land a killer blow.

Alex de Minaur’s draw opens up

8th seed Casper Ruud has pulled out of the Australia Open with an ankle injury, just hours before he was scheduled to play.

The World No. 8 will be replaced by Roman Safiullin, who beat Bernard Tomic in qualifying, who will take on Slovak Alex Molcan

“Two days ago in practice, I rolled or twisted my ankle,” Ruud said. “I tried everything I could to be ready, but unfortunately I’ve decided that I’m not 100% and I will not be able to play like I have to, to compete at this level. “I tried to play a little bit yesterday and today to see how it feels. Unfortunately, there were no improvements today … The plan is obviously to rest.”

Ruud was in Aussie De Minaur’s area of the draw, meaning the young Aussie won’t have to play another seeded player until the fourth round and no top 10 seeds until the quarterfinals.

‘I’m going to cry’: Aussie sends US Open runner-up packing

Australia’s Maddison Inglis has caused a huge upset to send US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez packing.

The 24-year-old won in straight sets 6-4 6-2 over the Canadian teenage sensation who burst onto the scene beating three top-5 players at the US Open last year before she fell to Emma Raducanu in the final.

Inglis was ranked outside the top 130 players but held her own against her highly-favoured opponent.

She was all smiles after the match as she soaked up the applause from the Melbourne crowd.

Speaking after the match, she was emotional, telling Channel 9 she could not get home to see family in December because of the state’s closed border.

“I seriously can’t (believe it), I’m shaking, I’m super stoked,” she said.

“I’m so happy to win my first round of AO. It’s amazing.

“I’ve had a few goes at it. I joked around, saying ‘third time lucky’. I’m really looking forward to keeping it going.

“I’m going to cry,” she said when asked about her supporters in the crowd.

“I had a couple of really close friends (in the box).”

Why punters booed after sensational Stosur win

Aussie golden girl Sam Stosur isn’t going anywhere yet, surviving an early scare to advance to the second round of what will be her last Australian Open.

Stosur, who announced she will retire from singles at the end of 2022, beat American Robin Anderson 6-7 6-3 6-3 in two hours and 30 minutes in front of a packed home crowd at Kia Arena.

The Queenslander played one of the points of the match to close it out before pumping her fist to the supportive home crowd.

There was some booing, however, after it was announced that Stosur — whose Twitter bio reads “bambamsam” after her nickname “Bam Bam” — would conduct an interview for broadcast on court but the crowd was told “you won’t be able to hear it”.

After the match, Stosur said the crowd helped get her over the line.

“More so than anything I was just excited to get out there,” she said.

“It’s incredible. I’ve got everyone here, my mum and dad and my brother. This was an incredible court to play on, so much fun.”

Anderson, a New Jersey native, outranked the Australian by more than 200 places.

Rohan Smith at Melbourne Park

Top seeds cruise and Aussie wildcard surprises

World No. 5 Andrey Rublev has cruised through his opening round match with a 6-3 6-2 6-2 win over Italy’s Gianluca Mager.

The Russian disposed of his less-fancied opponent in just 1hr 24mins.

Elsewhere 13th ranked Argentine Diego Schwartzman won in straight sets over Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic 6-3 6-4 7-5.

Spanish star Roberto Baurista Agut advanced 7-6 6-4 5-7 6-1 in just under three hours after being pushed to four sets.

Aussie wildcard entrant Christopher O’Connell moved through to the second round with a convincing four set win over Frenchman Hugo Gaston, winning 7-6 6-0 4-6 6-1.

On the women’s side of the draw, Sorana Cirstea sent home world No. 19 Petra Kvitova for a second year running with a 6-2 6-2 win.

Aussie wildcard Priscilla Hon fell in her first round clash with Czech player Marketa Vondrousova, 6-2 6-3.

Sam Stosur won her match against American Robin Anderson in three sets, 7-6 6-3 6-3.

Major upset as action gets underway

Sorana Cirstea rocked world No. 19 Petra Kvitova by winning their clash 6-2 6-2, knocking her out of the Australian Open for the second year in a row.

Kvitova, the two-time major winner who made the semi-finals of the Australian Open in 2019, registered 39 unforced errors and has now only made it to the third round of a grand slam once in her past five majors.

Aussie Daria Saville is out after she lost her first round match to Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson 6-2 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena.

Third seed Garbine Muguruza had no trouble in her opener, defeating Clara Burel 6-3 6-4.

Other early winners on Tuesday included Alize Cornet, Marin Cilic and Elise Mertens.

‘Never seen that before’: Star accused of petty act

Dayana Yastremska caused a stir after she retired when her opponent needed to win just one more game to claim victory.

The 21-year-old from Ukraine lost the first set to Madison Brengle 6-1 then came back to win the second 6-0. The rollercoaster continued in the third set as Brengle went up 5-0 before Yastremska pulled the pin.

Amazingly, Yastremska recorded a whopping 60 unforced errors for the match and Brengle hit just the solitary winner.

Tennis fans could barely believe their eyes. The Tennis Podcast said on Twitter it was an “absolutely incredibly scoreline” while Eric Hubbs of Barstool Sports wrote: “Only 1 winner for Brengle gets her the W because of 60 unforced errors by Yastremska. Never seen that before.”

Reuters sports writer Manasi Pathak suggested Yastremska retired to avoid losing the final set without claiming a single game — known as receiving a “bagel” in tennis slang.

Astonishing detail stuns tennis

Tennis fans were stunned by Aslan Karatsev’s marathon five-set win over Jaume Munar on Monday night as the Russian took nearly five hours to emerge victorious from a match filled with a ridiculous amount of winners and unforced errors.

Karatsev, who surprised everyone by going on a run to the Australian Open semi-finals last year, did things the hard way in round one but stuck to his guns in a match that featured some monster hitting from both players.

The record for most unforced errors in a match is 113 but Karatsev fell just short of that mark, finishing with 107 unforced errors to go with an astonishing 87 winners.

By comparison, Munar hit 24 winners and registered 35 unforced errors.

The popular “We are tennis” Twitter account called it an “amazing match” while plenty of others on social media were in awe of the “epic” encounter.

Commentator Jose Morgado posted a picture of the match stats on Twitter and wrote: “Still amazed by this.”

Day two preview

The top men’s seed remaining in the Australian Open, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, begins his campaign for a second Grand Slam title on an action-packed Tuesday at Melbourne Park.

Fellow US Open champion Emma Raducanu will make her Australian Open debut, while Garbine Muguruza, Simona Halep, Aryna Sabalenka, Andy Murray and Stefanos Tsitsipas all feature on a blockbuster second day.

The sensational deportation of number one seed Novak Djokovic from the first Grand Slam of the year has left Medvedev as the highest-ranked player in the draw. The world number two begins his quest in an afternoon clash against Switzerland’s 91st-ranked Henri Laaksonen on Rod Laver Arena.

Before that Spanish world number three Muguruza, a finalist at Melbourne Park two years ago, opens the day’s play in a women’s singles first-round clash on centre court against Clara Burel of France.

Raducanu will have her first taste of Australian Open action in a tough late-night match on the neighbouring Margaret Court Arena against American 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens.

So rapid has been the rise of the 19-year-old Raducanu, who made history at the US Open as the first qualifier to win a Slam, that a year ago she was catching the Australian Open on television while studying for school exams.

“I was watching from afar last year,” said Raducanu, who has played in the juniors at Melbourne but never in the main draw, and had her preparations hampered by contracting Covid-19.

“I just feel very grateful to have this opportunity to play here. I’m really looking forward to seeing it.”

Medvedev, who conquered Djokovic in the US Open final in September to win his maiden major, fired out a warning at the weekend that he fears no one.

“I’m feeling ready physically and mentally,” he said. “That’s the most important thing. That’s when I can play good and beat anybody.”

Greece’s Tsitsipas has been recovering from elbow surgery and gets a first chance to test his fitness over the rigours of five sets in the late match on Rod Laver against Mikael Ymer of Sweden.

“Feeling good with my arm,” the world number four said at the weekend. “Have recovered very close to 100 per cent.”

Women’s second seed Sabalenka endured a torrid build-up to the tournament, falling at the first hurdle in tears in both her warm-up events as her serve disastrously deserted her.

The Belarusian will try to put her problems behind her against world number 128 Storm Sanders, with the Australian sure to enjoy plenty of vociferous support on Rod Laver Arena.

Former world number one Halep has endured a tough couple of years through injury but the two-time Grand Slam champion won her first WTA title in 16 months at an Australian Open warm-up and starts against Magdalena Frech of Poland on Margaret Court Arena.

“Physically I’m in the right place. Confidence is growing,” said Halep, who lost in the 2018 Australian Open final to Caroline Wozniacki.

Three-time Grand Slam winner Murray returns on a wildcard for the first time since an emotional 2019 “farewell” appearance after undergoing career-saving hip surgery.

The 34-year-old Scot, who has been runner-up in the Australian Open five times, starts against 21st-seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia on John Cain Arena.

With AFP

Originally published as World in awe of teenage star Emma Raducanu’s 17-minute masterclass

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