Tennis fans willing to stay up late were treated to something incredible as one star almost broke a record for the wrong reasons.
Day two of the Australian Open is here and there are plenty of big names to keep an eye on.
Ash Barty blasted her way into the second round on Monday and tonight fellow Aussie Nick Kyrgios will try to do the same when he faces Britain’s Liam Broady.
US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, teenage sensation Emma Raducanu and former world No. 1 Simona Halep are among the others who will be strutting their stuff in Melbourne.
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Order of play (all times AEDT)
Rod Laver Arena
From 11am: Clara Burel vs Garbine Muguruza (3)
Iga Swiatek (7) vs Harriet Dart (Q)
Henri Laaksonen vs Daniil Medvedev (2)
From 7pm: Storm Sanders (WC) vs Aryna Sabalenka (2)
Mikael Ymer vs Stefanos Tsitsipas (4)
Margaret Court Arena
From 11am: Daria Saville (WC) vs Rebecca Peterson
Andrey Rublev (5) vs Gianluca Mager
Simona Halep (14) vs Magdalena Frech
From 7pm: Lorenzo Musetti vs Alex de Minaur (32)
Sloane Stephens vs Emma Raducanu (17)
John Cain Arena
From 11am: Petra Kvitova (20) vs Sorana Cirstea
Annett Kontaveit (6) vs Katerina Siniakova
Not before 3pm: Nikoloz Basilashvili (21) vs Andy Murray (WC)
Not before 7pm: Liam Broady (Q) vs Nick Kyrgios
‘Never seen that before’: Aus Open’s wildest match
Dayana Yastremska caused a stir after she retired when her opponent needed to win just one more game to claim victory.
The 21-year-old from Ukraine lost the first set to Madison Brengle 6-1 then came back to win the second 6-0. The rollercoaster continued in the third set as Brengle went up 5-0 beore Yastremska pulled the pin.
Amazingly, Yastremska recorded a whopping 60 unforced errors for the match and Brengle hit just the solitary winnner.
Tennis fans could barely believe their eyes. The Tennis Podcast said on Twitter it was an “absolutely incredibly scoreline” while Eric Hubbs of Barstool Sports wrote: “Only 1 winner for Brengle gets her the W because of 60 unforced errors by Yastremska. Never seen that before.”
Reuters sports writer Manasi Pathak tweeted: “The rest of the stats make it look wilder. One winner from Brengle and 60 unforced errors by Yastremska. Also, anything to avoid a bagel, eh?”
Astonishing detail stuns tennis
Tennis fans were stunned by Aslan Karatsev’s marathon five-set win over Jaume Munar on Monday night as the Russian took nearly five hours to emerge victorious from a match filled with a ridiculous amount of winners and unforced errors.
Karatsev, who surprised everyone by going on a run to the Australian Open semi-finals last year, did things the hard way in round one but stuck to his guns in a match that featured some monster hitting from both players.
The record for most unforced errors in a match is 113 but Karatsev fell just short of that mark, finishing with 107 unforced errors to go with an astonishing 87 winners.
By comparison, Munar hit 24 winners and registered 35 unforced errors.
The popular “We are tennis” Twitter account called it an “amazing match” while plenty of others on social media were in awe of the “epic” encounter.
Commentator Jose Morgado posted a picture of the match stats on Twitter and wrote: “Still amazed by this.”
Day two preview
The top men’s seed remaining in the Australian Open, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, begins his campaign for a second Grand Slam title on an action-packed Tuesday at Melbourne Park.
Fellow US Open champion Emma Raducanu will make her Australian Open debut, while Garbine Muguruza, Simona Halep, Aryna Sabalenka, Andy Murray and Stefanos Tsitsipas all feature on a blockbuster second day.
The sensational deportation of number one seed Novak Djokovic from the first Grand Slam of the year has left Medvedev as the highest-ranked player in the draw. The world number two begins his quest in an afternoon clash against Switzerland’s 91st-ranked Henri Laaksonen on Rod Laver Arena.
Before that Spanish world number three Muguruza, a finalist at Melbourne Park two years ago, opens the day’s play in a women’s singles first-round clash on centre court against Clara Burel of France.
Raducanu will have her first taste of Australian Open action in a tough late-night match on the neighbouring Margaret Court Arena against American 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens.
So rapid has been the rise of the 19-year-old Raducanu, who made history at the US Open as the first qualifier to win a Slam, that a year ago she was catching the Australian Open on television while studying for school exams.
“I was watching from afar last year,” said Raducanu, who has played in the juniors at Melbourne but never in the main draw, and had her preparations hampered by contracting Covid-19.
“I just feel very grateful to have this opportunity to play here. I’m really looking forward to seeing it.”
Medvedev, who conquered Djokovic in the US Open final in September to win his maiden major, fired out a warning at the weekend that he fears no one.
“I’m feeling ready physically and mentally,” he said. “That’s the most important thing. That’s when I can play good and beat anybody.”
Greece’s Tsitsipas has been recovering from elbow surgery and gets a first chance to test his fitness over the rigours of five sets in the late match on Rod Laver against Mikael Ymer of Sweden.
“Feeling good with my arm,” the world number four said at the weekend. “Have recovered very close to 100 per cent.”
Women’s second seed Sabalenka endured a torrid build-up to the tournament, falling at the first hurdle in tears in both her warm-up events as her serve disastrously deserted her.
The Belarusian will try to put her problems behind her against world number 128 Storm Sanders, with the Australian sure to enjoy plenty of vociferous support on Rod Laver Arena.
Former world number one Halep has endured a tough couple of years through injury but the two-time Grand Slam champion won her first WTA title in 16 months at an Australian Open warm-up and starts against Magdalena Frech of Poland on Margaret Court Arena.
“Physically I’m in the right place. Confidence is growing,” said Halep, who lost in the 2018 Australian Open final to Caroline Wozniacki.
Three-time Grand Slam winner Murray returns on a wildcard for the first time since an emotional 2019 “farewell” appearance after undergoing career-saving hip surgery.
The 34-year-old Scot, who has been runner-up in the Australian Open five times, starts against 21st-seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia on John Cain Arena.