Australian Open | Tennis

Aus Open | Indefatigable Murray prevails in a five-setter

Day two of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 18, 2022.

Day two of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 18, 2022.

Former World No.1 Andy Murray turned back the clock in typically combative style and favourite Daniil Medvedev set up a blockbuster second-round showdown with Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

In the women’s draw, top-10 seeds Garbine Muguruza, Iga Swiatek and Anett Kontaveit all made comfortable starts to their title charges, while Simona Halep and Aryna Sabalenka also won despite struggling with their serves.

Fernandez ousted

Emma Raducanu, the U.S. Open champion, was also victorious on her tournament debut but there was defeat at the first hurdle for her fellow 19-year-old and Flushing Meadows runner-up Leylah Fernandez.

Canada’s Fernandez, the 23rd seed, went down 6-4, 6-2 to Australian wildcard Maddison Inglis.

Also exiting were former Major champions Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber.

The 34-year-old Murray, here as a wildcard, showed all the fighting qualities that made him a three-time Grand Slam champion as he posted an epic 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4 win over 21st seed Nikoloz Basilashvili.

There was no such problem for Russia’s Medvedev, the second seed and favourite to lift his second Major, who made light work of 91st-ranked Henri Laaksonen, dismantling the Swiss 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(3).

Medvedev, who lost last year’s final to Djokovic but then beat the Serbian in the U.S. Open final, plays the combustible but talented Australian showman Kyrgios in round two. Kyrgios took out Great Britain’s Liam Broady 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.

Tsitsipas moves up

Another of the “Next Gen” young talents, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, seeded fourth, was a comfortable winner over practice partner Mikael Ymer.

In the women’s draw, Spanish World No. 3 Muguruza, a finalist here two years ago, eased past 77th-ranked Frenchwoman Clara Burel 6-3, 6-4.

There was also little trouble for Kontaveit, despite some early nerves, and Swiatek, but Romania’s Halep was far from comfortable.

The former No.1 laboured into round two 6-4, 6-3 after an error-strewn clash with Poland’s Magdalena Frech.

Second seed Sabalenka, who was reduced to tears and serving underarm in a disastrous lead-up to Melbourne, had Mark Philippoussis to thank after she revealed the Australian former World No. 8 helped iron out some of her serving problems.

She was far from perfect on her serve but survived to beat Storm Sanders 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

Stephens exits

In the last action of the day, Raducanu ousted the American Sloane Stephens — a former U.S. Open champion — 6-0, 2-6, 6-1 in a performance that will make the Briton’s rivals sit up and take notice.

Important results

First round: Men: Murray (Sco) bt 21-Basilashvili (Geo) 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4; 11-Sinner (Ita) bt Sousa (Por) 6-4, 7-5, 6-1; 15-Bautista-Agut (Esp) bt Travaglia (Ita) 7-6(2), 6-4, 5-7, 6-1; 26-Dimitrov (Bul) bt Lehecka (Cze) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5; 5-Rublev (Rus) bt Mager (Ita) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2; 27-Marin Cilic (Cro) bt Emilio Gomez (Ecu) 6-3, 6-1, 6-2; 13-Schwartzman (Arg) bt Krajinovic (Srb) 6-3, 6-4, 7-5; Gasquet (Fra) bt 29-Humbert (Fra) 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(3), 6-3; 2-Medvedev (Rus) bt Laaksonen (Sui) 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(3); Cressy (USA) bt 22-Isner (USA) 7-6 (7/2), 7-5, 6-7 (4/7), 6-7 (4/7), 6-4; 24-Evans (GBr) bt Goffin (Bel) 6-4, 6-3, 6-0; 9-Auger-Aliassime (Can) bt Emil Ruusuvuori (Fin) 6-4, 0-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4; 4-Tsitsipas (Gre) bt Mikael Ymer (Swe) 6-2, 6-4, 6-3.

Women: 27-Collins (USA) bt Dolehide (USA) 6-1, 6-3; 6-Kontaveit (Est) bt Siniakova (Cze) 6-2, 6-3; 19-Mertens (Bel) bt Zvonareva (Rus) 6-4, 7-5; 14-Halep (Rom) bt Frech (Pol) 6-4, 6-3; 3-Muguruza (Esp) bt Clara Burel (Fra) 6-3, 6-4; 7-Swiatek (Pol) bt Dart (GBr) 6-3, 6-0; 25-Kasatkina (Rus) bt Vogele (Sui) 6-3, 6-1; Cirstea (Rom) bt 20-Kvitova (Cze) 6-2, 6-2; 10-Pavlyuchenkova (Rus) bt Bondar (Hun) 6-2, 6-1; Inglis (Aus) bt 23-Fernandez (Can) 6-4, 6-2; 31-Vondrousova (Cze) bt Hon (Aus) 6-2, 6-3; 2-Sabalenka (Blr) bt Sanders (Aus) 5-7, 6-3, 6-2; 12-Rybakina (Kaz) bt Diyas (Kaz) 6-7(3), 7-6(3), 6-1; 17-Raducanu (GBr) bt Stephens (USA) 6-0, 2-6, 6-1; 29-Zidansek (Slo) bt Rus (Ned) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(8); Kanepi (Est) bt 16-Kerber (Ger) 6-4, 6-3.


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Printable version | May 22, 2022 12:01:01 am | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/aus-open-indefatigable-murray-prevails-in-a-five-setter/article38288245.ece