MELBOURNE, Australia — On Day 1 of the Australian Open, there are no less than 14 locals in action. Follow the day’s play and keep up to date with how the Australians are faring at Melbourne Park.
Alex de Minaur (AUS) def. Pedro Sousa
6-4, 7-5, 6-4
What a week it’s been for 19-year-old sensation Alex de Minaur.
Just days after claiming his maiden ATP title in his hometown of Sydney, de Minaur took to Margaret Court Arena and booked his spot in the second round of the Australian Open with a routine, straight sets win over Portugal’s Pedro Sousa.
De Minaur’s trademark hustle and agility was on full display throughout the afternoon, and with temperatures in Melbourne soaring to a sweltering 36C, he was pleased he managed to get the job done in under two hours.
“I thought I managed the conditions really well,” he said during his post-match press conference. “The body is feeling good, this is why you put in the hard yards in the preseason.”
The Australian 27th seed will face Henri Laaksonen next for a potential third round match-up against 17-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal.
Ash Barty (AUS) def. Luksika Kumkhum
Ash Barty has continued the rich vein of form she showed earlier this month in Sydney by defeating Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum in straight sets on Margaret Court Arena.
After a slow start, during which her opponent managed to snag an early break to go up 2-0 in the first set, Barty regained her composure brilliantly on the way to a 57-minute, straight sets thrashing.
In her post-match press conference, Barty admitted she had “a couple of slow games” at the beginning, but said she was “comfortable” once she got settled on court.
Seeded 15th, Barty will now face little-known Chinese woman Yafan Wang in the second round on Wednesday.
Zoe Hives (AUS) def. Bethanie Mattek-Sands
Little known Hives turned in a memorable performance on Day 1 with the Victorian wild card routing the experienced Mattek-Sands and booking her place in the second round.
The American had no answer for Hives who never dropped serve and won 62 percent of points played out on Court 8. It was an extra special performance by 22-year-old Hives given that it was her first appearance at a grand slam.
Hives will meet Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia on Wednesday for a place in the third round and has already guaranteed herself a handy AU$105,000 in prize money.
Rafael Nadal def. James Duckworth (AUS)
6-4, 6-3, 7-5
Duckworth earned wild card entry into this year’s tournament and can count himself pretty unfortunate to be drawn alongside world No. 2 Nadal.
The 2009 Australian Open champion may have scored a straight sets win to send the 26-year-old Aussie packing but it wasn’t as straightforward as one might have expected. Duckworth played his best tennis at 5-2 down in the third set, eventually leveling at 5-5 before Nadal reeled off two consecutive games to take the match.
While he can’t be too disappointed in losing to Nadal on Rod Laver Arena, Duckworth — who has now lost four consecutive matches at the Australian Open — will rue his serving, having double faulted 11 times in the match.
Other Day 1 results from the Australian Open:
John Millman (AUS) def. Federico Delbonis
6-3, 3-6, 6-7, 6-2
Matt Ebden (AUS) def. Jan-Lennard Stuff
1-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4
Jordan Thompson (AUS) def. Feliciano Lopez
6-1, 7-6(0), 6-3
Kimberly Birrell (AUS) def. Paula Badosa Gibert
Astra Sharma (AUS) def. Priscilla Hon (AUS)
7-5, 4-6, 6-1
Denis Kudla def. Marc Polmans (AUS)
5-7, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2
Thomas Fabbiano def. Jason Kubler (AUS)
6-4, 7-6(1), 2-6, 6-3
Yafan Wang def. Ellen Perez (AUS)