Australian Open 2018 got underway on Monday recording huge upsets in the men’s and women’s singles. The biggest of them all was Venus Williams failing to match or surpass last year’s result and the wait for her 8th Grand Slam title as well as a title in Melbourne continues.
Last season’s losing finalist, Williams crashed out to world number 78 Belinda Bencic 6-3 7-5.
It was a dissappointing day for American women in Australia as 10th seed CoCo Vandeweghe was also knocked out by Hungarian Timea Babos 7-6(4) 6-2. 2017 US Open champion, Sloane Stephens lost her seventh match in a row losing to Shuai Zhang 2-6 7-6(2) 6-2 – becoming the first seed to exit the competition.The 24-year-old has not won a match since winning the US Open in September.
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Youngest player of the competition, Martha Kostyuk also caused one of the biggest upsets beating world number 27 and tournament 25th seed Shuai Peng of China 6-2, 6-2 in just 57 minutes.
This is the first victory for 15-year-old Kostyuk in the Grand Slam qualifying and her first victory over a tennis player from the world’s top 30.
Seventh seed Jelena Ostapenko made light work of her first-round match, defeating veteran Francesca Schiavone 6-1 6-4 while twelfth seed Julia Goerges also progressed to the second round.
In the men’s tournament, world number one Rafa Nadal began his Australian Open campaign with a straight-set victory over Victor Estrella Burgos. Nadal swept past his opponent 6-1 6-1 6-1 in one hour and 34 minutes on Rad Laver Arena.
Home favourite Nick Kyrgios advanced to the next round with a 6-1 6-2 6-4 victory over Rogerio Dutra Silva.Grigor Dimitrov, ATP Finals champion recorded a convincing 6-3 6-2 6-1 victory over qualifier Denis Novak while Marin Cilic was made to work hard for a 6-2 6-2 4-6 7-6(5) win over Canadian Vasek Pospisil.
Just like their female counterparts, It was also a disappointing day for the male Americans.Jack Sock and John Isner were both knocked out. Isner, world No 16, succumbed to Australian world No 78 Matt Ebden 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-3 while Sock, who burst into the top 10 at the end of last season, struggled against unseeded Yuichi Sugita in a 6-1 7-6 5-7 6-3 defeat.
With no Andy Murray, British only hope in the men’s tournament, Kyle Edmund saw off big-serving Kevin Anderson in five sets.
Gilles Simon and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Caroline Wozniacki all made it to the second round.