scorecardresearch
Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022

Australia Open 1st round: Raducanu wins, Muguruza eases past Burel, Leylah exits

Third seed Garbine Muguruza won the match by 6-3, 6-4 against a feisty young Frenchwoman Clara Burel. US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez suffers a first round exit.

Spain's Garbine Muguruza celebrates after winning her first round match against France's Clara Burel. (Reuters)

Third seed Garbine Muguruza struggled to close out the contest but reached the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-3 6-4 victory over feisty young Frenchwoman Clara Burel on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday.

Burel showed plenty of fight and managed to break Muguruza in the opening set but her own serve was brittle and 12 double faults dug a hole she was always going to struggle to get out of.

The experienced Spaniard, a losing finalist at Melbourne Park two years ago, came into the net to great effect to go a set and a break up but was broken again when serving for the match.

The former Wimbledon and French Open champion broke Burel for a fifth time in the next game to get the job done and move onto to a contest with another Frenchwoman, Alize Cornet.

Stosur eyes final flourish

For nearly two decades Sam Stosur carried Australian hopes of a first homegrown women’s singles champion at Melbourne Park since 1978 and while this year marks her last chance to end that drought she says the pressure is finally off.

Stosur, 37, has never been beyond the fourth round at the Australian Open and world number one Ash Barty has become Australia’s favourite to emulate Chris O’Neil and win the first Grand Slam of the year.

However, she got her campaign off to a good start on Tuesday by beating Robin Anderson 6-7(5) 6-3 6-3 in her opener.

The former US Open champion said the decision to finish her singles career after the current edition of the Australian Open has given her added motivation.

No fairytale run for Leylah Fernandez

Advertisement

There will be no Australian Open fairytale for Leylah Fernandez this year after a bad day at the office saw the Canadian teenager bundled out in the first round by Maddie Inglis on Tuesday.

The 19-year-old’s run to the US Open final against Emma Raducanu was one of the stories of last year but Melbourne Park is not a happy hunting ground for her.

The 6-4 6-2 loss to the Australian wildcard marked the third straight year Fernandez had fallen at the first hurdle at the year’s opening Grand Slam.

Raducanu defeats Sloane Stephens

Raducanu fared better in her debut at the Australian Open. The 17th-seeded Briton beating 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-0, 2-6, 6-1 in a seesawing night match that brought the Day 2 program to a close.

Advertisement

The No. 17-seeded Raducanu won the first set in 17 minutes and seemed to be in complete control of her debut main draw match at Melbourne Park.

But Stephens, the 2017 U.S. Open winner, converted her fifth break point chance to open the second set in a 12-minute game that finished on a pair of double-faults from Raducanu, the 2021 U.S. Open winner.

Two early service breaks gave Raducanu a 5-0 lead and she served it out to finish in 1 3/4 hours. It was her first win of 2022.

Raducanu will play No. 98-ranked Danka Kovinic in the next round.

Kvitova bows out

Twice former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova said she was unsurprised at bowing out of the Australian Open in the opening round on Tuesday after a difficult month Down Under.

The 2019 Australian Open finalist was ousted by Sorana Cirstea for the second successive year at Melbourne Park, the Romanian veteran easing to a 6-2 6-2 victory on John Cain Arena.

“I don’t think I have much to say,” said Kvitova. “It wasn’t really going my way the whole month. That’s how it is. It’s a sport and I just have to fight through and be better at it.”

Advertisement

The 20th seed, who lost to Naomi Osaka in the final three years ago, entered two warm-up tournaments but ended up playing only three matches after early exits in Adelaide and Sydney.

“I didn’t play a lot of matches at the beginning of this year,” she added.

Advertisement

“I did have some health issues the whole month as well, so it was tough to practice. It wasn’t really easy this beginning of the season, but the season is long, so I hope that it will turnaround.”

The 31-year-old Czech opened her 2022 campaign with a stunning loss to Australian world number 221 Priscilla Hon in the first round of the Adelaide International.

Advertisement

She moved on to the Sydney Tennis Classic and survived a scare to get her first win of the year against Arantxa Rus before exiting the tournament in the second at the hands of Ons Jabeur.

Kvitova said she would take a few days to “see clearly” and then focus on getting as many matches as she could under her belt and hopefully kick-starting her season.

“This loss is very painful, in the first round after like a whole month,” she said.

“Yeah, on one hand, I’m not surprised really how everything ended. But on the other hand, of course, when I play a match I always want to win.”

Sabalenka advances

Second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka rallied from a set and a break down to beat wild card Storm Sanders 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 in the first-round night match on Rod Laver Arena.

Sabalenka lost her opening matches at two tune-up tournaments and appeared to be headed the same way when she trailed No. 128-ranked Sanders 3-1 in the second set.

But she rebounded to win the next nine games and 11 of the last 13 to secure the win.

Sabalenka will next play Wang Xinyu, who opened with a 7-6 (5), 6-3 win over Ann Li .

Subscriber Only Stories
UPSC Key-October 5, 2022: Why you should read ‘Animal Adoption Scheme’ or...Premium
Telangana plot accused had twice tried to join terror outfits abroad, sto...Premium
Split on method to name new Supreme Court judges, CJI sends 2nd note to C...Premium
MNREGA worker breaks national record in men’s 35km race walkPremium

(With AP inputs)

First published on: 18-01-2022 at 07:54:23 am
Next Story

Don’t speak about party issues in public: TMC to Madan Mitra

Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement