Aus Open day one: Corentin Moutet dozes off, Venus Williams likes job A, Serena Williams can’t banish family
The first Grand Slam of 2021 got under way at Melbourne Park as a monumental logistical effort to get the Australian Open on paid off.
There were routine wins for Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Dominic Thiem and Simona Halep, though 10th seed Gael Monfils was the biggest casualty of the day.
Here is a look at the first day’s action.
Picture of the day
Quote of the day
The elder Williams sister explained how she still puts tennis first aged 40 after winning in what was her 88th main draw match at a Grand Slam.
Tweet of the day
When it’s Day 1 of the #AusOpen and you already have a five setter in the bank 😅😴
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 8, 2021
Shot of the day
— ATP Tour (@atptour) February 8, 2021
Nick Kyrgios was just doing Nick Kyrgios things during his routine first-round win over Portuguese qualifier Frederico Ferreira Silva.
Serena can’t banish like Brady
Serena Williams was in awe of compatriot Tom Brady, after the 43-year-old won a seventh Super Bowl crown. Brady revealed he banished his family from his house in the build-up to the game so he could prepare uninterrupted, but Williams could never bring herself to do that with her three-year-old daughter. After beating Laura Siegemund 6-1, 6-1, she said: “I can totally understand why he would banish because if I had the strength to do it, I would too. I could see it’s definitely a distraction, especially every year that I’ve played except for the past few months, I finally am starting to get better at it. The first two and a half years was very difficult.”
Monfils showed his emotion in a press conference after a five-set loss to Emil Ruusuvuori. The Finnish player had been Monfils’ hitting partner during the two-week quarantine and clearly made notes as he earned an impressive 3-6 6-4, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 win.
The Frenchman did not take it well after the game, fighting back the tears. He said: “I don’t have any confidence. I would like to get out of this nightmare but I can’t. I don’t know when it’s going to end. It’s hard. Every time I get here I feel judged, I’ve lost again.”
Sweet 15 for Bianca
When Bianca Andreescu won the 2019 US Open as an 18-year-old she had the tennis world at her feet, but just a month later she suffered a knee injury. Fifteen months later she finally made her comeback, beating Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. She admitted to having tears the night before her long-awaited return.
She said: “Last night I did cry, and I’m not afraid to say that because everyone cries sometimes. But it’s a good release for me because in my head, all I was thinking about were the last 15 months and how tough they were, and they were tough for many reasons.”
Women: Angelique Kerber (23), Alison Riske (24)
Men: Gael Monfils (10), Benoit Paire (25)
Who’s up next?
There is plenty of British interest on day two as Johanna Konta, Fran Jones and Heather Watson begin their campaigns in the women’s draw while Dan Evans, fresh from winning his first ATP Tour title in the build-up, faces fellow Brit Cameron Norrie.
Rafael Nadal begins his quest for a record 21st Grand Slam – and first Australian Open since 2009 – against Laslo Djere, while 2020 women’s champion Sofia Kenin begins her title defence against Maddison Inglis.
Diego Schwartzman seals emotional title on home soil in Buenos Aires
Diego Schwartzman cruised to a 6-1 6-2…
Andrey Rublev’s stunning record in ATP 500 events continues with Rotterdam win
Andrey Rublev continued his stunning run in ATP 500 events as he defeated Marton Fucsovics 7-6(4), 6-4 to win in Rotterdam.
Roger Federer hopes to return to ‘100 per cent’ fitness in time for Wimbledon
Federer has needed two operations to correct a long-standing knee issue.
On This Day in 2016: Maria Sharapova reveals positive drugs test
The five-time Grand Slam winner would ultimately be banned from tennis for 15 months.
Francisco Cerundolo eyeing remarkable family first ahead of Argentina Open final
Cerundolo is looking to emulate his younger brother Juan Manuel by winning his first ATP title.
Classy Petra Kvitova in dominant form as she eases to Qatar Open title
Petra Kvitova stormed to her 28th career title and second at the Qatar Open win with a 6-2, 6-1 rout of Garbine Muguruza in Doha.
WATCH: Roger Federer practices in Doha as he learns his fate in the draw
Roger Federer could face a clash against Britain’s Dan Evans in the first match of his comeback event in Doha.
Andrey Rublev’s stunning run of form continues as beats Stefanos Tsitsipas
Andrey Rublev stirmed into his fourth straight ATP 500 final with a 6-3, 7-6(2) victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas in Rotterdam.
Roger Federer sends fans crazy with a social media post ahead of his return to action
The moment Roger Federer fans have waited almost a years to see is nearly here as he prepares to return to action next week.
Garbine Muguruza into the final in Qatar after Victoria Azarenka pulls out
Victoria Azarenka withdrew ahead of the Qatar Total Open semi-finals to send Garbine Muguruza.