Australian Open 2022: Medvedev, Rublev through; win for Halep
Daniil Medvedev, who is the leading seed in the absence of Novak Djokovic, progressed to the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday. The Russian star enjoyed straight-set victory over Switzerland's Henri Laaksonen. Andrey Rublev also advanced after enjoying a straight-set win over Gianluca Mager. In the women's section, Simona Halep has made it through alongside Iga Swiatek and Anett Kontaveit.
Why does it matter?
- After enjoying a ruthless 13-1 win-loss record at the Australian and US Open respectively in 2021, Medvedev started his Slam journey this year in a ruthless manner.
- With Djokovic missing, Medvedev is being backed to win the Australian Open and he will enjoy the pressure.
- Fellow Russian star Rublev displayed some clean hitting in his match as Halep kept her nerves to progress.
Medvedev wins in straight sets
Medvedev dropped serve in the opening game before gaining a hold post then. He dominated the show the one-hour, 54-minute duel. The 2021 Australian Open finalist did not face a break point in the second and third set respectively. Laaksonen allowed just one break point on his own serve in that period to spice things up. Medvedev prevailed 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(3).
It's a really important tournament for me: Medvedev
During on-court interview, Medvedev said he is not shying away from the spotlight. "I like pressure," he said. "It's a really important tournament for me always in Australia. I like to play here, I like hard courts. So I always want to do better than I did last year, but it's not going to be easy."
A superb win for Rublev
Men's world number six and four-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Rublev started in a brilliant fashion, beating Mager 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. Rublev produced 31 winners and just 13 errors in the one-hour, 24-minute duel. Rublev dropped serve once, broke seven times, and never trailed in any of the three sets. He finished the match with 13 aces and an 81% win rate on first serve.
Other key results in men's singles
Big-hitting John Isner rallied from two sets down to eventually lose a five-set thriller against Maxime Cressy. Isner lost the tie 6-7, 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 4-6. Grigor Dimitrov beat Jiri Lehecka 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. Argentine Diego Schwartzman defeated Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-4, 7-5. Meanwhile, Andy Murray battled past Nikoloz Basilashvili in five sets. The Briton won 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-4.
Halep beats Poland's Frech
Former World No.1 Halep beat Magdalena Frech of Poland 6-4, 6-3. As per WTA, Halep claimed her 104th Grand Slam main-draw match-win by overcoming Frech. She has now improved to 6-0 this season so far. "The first match is always tough," Halep said in her post-match press conference. "I was very nervous. But I'm really happy with the way I played," she added.
Key results in women's singles
Garbine Muguruza got off to a winning start with a 6-3, 6-4 win over France's Clara Burel. She will take on Alize Cornet next, who beat Bulgarian qualifier Viktoriya Tomova 6-3, 6-3. Iga Swiatek downed British qualifier Harriet Dart 6-3, 6-0. Swiatek will next face Sweden's Rebecca Peterson. No. 12 seed Elena Rybakina battled for a 6-7(3), 7-6(3), 6-1 win over Zarina Diyas.
Sorana Cirstea stuns Petra Kvitova
Sorana Cirstea stunned 2019 runner-up Petra Kvitova out of the Australian Open for the second straight year. Cirstea claimed a 6-2, 6-2 first-round victory. She will next face Kristina Kucova of Slovakia in the second round. Kucova defeated Misaki Doi of Japan 6-3, 7-5.