Mon. May 23rd, 2022

Defending women’s champion Naomi Osaka escaped to the second round of the Australian Open when day one at Melbourne Park kicked off in the wake of Novak Djokovic’s expulsion.

Osaka went to the Rod Laver Arena less than 24 hours after Djokovic was forced to leave Australia following the federal court’s decision to uphold the government’s decision to cancel his visa.

The men’s world number one was scheduled to play tonight in his first round match against fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanović at Rod Laver Arena.

His place in the men’s draw was taken over by the Italian “lucky loser” Salvatore Caruso.

Djokovic’s expulsion will continue to attract media coverage, but Osaka did their best to turn their attention to performances on the pitch with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Colombia’s Camila Osorio.

The two-time winner of the Australian Open was plagued by a stomach injury in the run-up to the tournament, but showed no side effects as she got off to a windy start to the match after jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the first set. .

The 50th-ranked Osorio was given a service break in the seventh game, though that was not enough to prevent Osaka from taking the first set.

In the second set, the Japanese star Osorio broke and helped her complete the victory in just one hour and eight minutes.

“I thought I played really well, given the circumstances,” Osaka said in his interview at the farm.

“I didn’t really have that much information about my opponent. I thought she was playing great. She was fighting for every point.”

Osaka is on the same side of the draw as the world number on Ash Barty, who is due to play his opening match tonight.

They meet in the fourth round if both should get this far in the tournament.

Seeds start to win

A Greek female tennis player plays a double-handed backhand at the Australian Open.
Maria Sakkari reaches for a backhand against Tatjana Maria in the opening match at Rod Laver Arena.(Getty Images: Cameron Spencer)

Women’s fifth seeded Maria Sakkari started the first day victory at Rod Laver Arena with a 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) victory over Germany’s Tatjana Maria.

Greece’s Sakkari was tested in the first set, after dropping serve against world number 287.

But two service breaks helped her secure the set, and despite being forced into a tiebreak in the second round, Sakkari got a safe passage to the second round.

In other results in the women’s draw, Ukrainian 15th seed Elina Svitolina defeated France’s Fiona Ferro 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), while 22nd seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland – the Olympic gold medalist from Tokyo – won 6-4 , 6-3 over French Kristina Mladenovic.

In the men’s draw, frogs Denis Shapovalov (14) and Gael Monfils (17) both advanced to the second round.

Canada’s Shapovalov beat Serb Laslo Djere 7-6, (7-3), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), and Frenchman Monfils defeated Argentine Federico Coria 6-1, 6-1, 6- 3.

Spanish 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz comfortably advanced to the final 64 with a straight-set victory over qualifier Alejandro Tabilo.

The 31st-seeded Alcaraz – a US Open quarterfinalist last year – defeated its Chilean opponent 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

Players compete in matches in front of fewer spectators than the number who attended the Australian Open before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Victorian government announced last week that audience capacity would be limited to 50 percent over the next fourteen days in accordance with the state’s COVID-19 protocols.


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