Five must-watch Australian Open matches: Denis Shapovalov v Jannik Sinner, Dan Evans v Cameron Norrie
The first Grand Slam matches of 2021 will be played on Monday as the Australian Open gets under way in Melbourne.
Here, we pick out five eye-catching round one clashes.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova v Naomi Osaka
US Open champion Osaka is the title favourite but on paper this is a very tricky opener. Russian Pavlyuchenkova has never quite lived up to her junior promise but has been a top-40 player for a decade and her recent record in Melbourne is superb, with three quarter-finals in the last four years.
Denis Shapovalov v Jannik Sinner
This should be a cracker between two of the most exciting young players in the men’s game. Shapovalov is no longer a new face but is still only 21 and much bigger things are expected. Nineteen-year-old Italian Sinner, meanwhile, is heading for the top at breakneck speed, having won the Great Ocean Road Open title on Sunday.
Leylah Fernandez v Elise Mertens
Eighteen-year-old Fernandez is another bright young talent to emerge from Canada. She has already reached the third round of the French Open and will hope to prove a difficult opponent for 18th seed Mertens, who is a former semi-finalist in Melbourne and has been in good from this week.
Kei Nishikori v Pablo Carreno Busta
Carreno Busta is among the more low key members of the men’s top 20 but at 29 he is playing his best tennis and will hope for a strong run here having twice reached the US Open semi-finals. Nishikori is still working his way back following elbow surgery in 2019 but remains one of the sport’s great movers.
Dan Evans v Cameron Norrie
It’s a Battle of the Brits in the 1⃣st round at the @AustralianOpen
Dan Evans 🆚 @cam_norrie #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/ktC1uH60iu
— LTA (@the_LTA) February 5, 2021
The odds were low that Britain’s only two representatives in the men’s singles would draw each other. Evans goes in as favourite, especially given his excellent form this week as he won his maiden ATP title at the Murray River Open, but Norrie won their last meeting at the Battle of the Brits in December and has also started the season well.
Follow us on Twitter @T365Official and like our Facebook page.
Andy Murray joins Emma Raducanu at American agency with ‘eye on future business opportunities’
Andy Murray’s 77 Sports Management has disbanded it’s tennis division.
WATCH: Distraught Bianca Andreescu leaves court in wheelchair after suffering horrific injury
Wishing Bianca Andreescu a speedy recovery.
What is Iga Swiatek’s net worth in 2023
Iga Swiatek has levelled up her sponsorships.
Martina Trevisan breaks new ground as she reaches maiden WTA 1000 quarter-final
Martina Trevisan is savouring a massive win.
Stefanos Tsitsipas ends Miami holiday by grinding past Cristian Garin
Stefanos Tsitsipas has been ‘on vacation’ in Miami.
Roger Federer teases YouTube film with Trevor Noah
Roger Federer is once again rubbing shoulders with A-list celebrities in a new film for Switzerland Tourism.
Why did Elena Rybakina change nationality?
Elena Rybakina switched federations to Kazakhstan in June 2018.
Varvara Gracheva to go from Russian No 7 to French No 2
Varvara Gracheva has applied for French citizenship.
Barbora Krejcikova feels she is part of the Big Four in women’s tennis – ‘I just don’t get the credit’
Does Barbora Krejcikova get the credit she deserves?
Bianca Andreescu reaches out to Emma Raducanu as she also discusses ‘crazy’ similarity with Brit
“I would love to talk to her about what happened after US Open.”