Novak Djokovic: Martina Navratilova addresses situation
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Already today, one Brit went through to the third round without hitting a ball and another went out in straight sets while an Aussie legend retired after her 20th appearance at Melbourne Park. And the world No.2 survived a serving nightmare but the world No.3 went out – and blamed a Covid outbreak in her camp.
Dan Evans gets a walkover into the third round
The No.24 seed beat David Goffin in straight sets in the first round. But he did not even need to go out on court yesterday when his second-round opponent Arthur Rinderknech pulled out with a wrist injury.
The British No.2 reaches the last 32 for the first time since he got to the fourth round here in 2017.
He will face either ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada or Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on Saturday. (check)
But Heather Watson is out
The British No.2 revealed a new love of tennis helped her win her Grand Slam singles match in a year after her first round victory.
But the Channel Islander went out today as she lost 7-6 6-4 to No.29 seed Tamara Zidansek.
The world No.94 had a set point at 5-6 in the first set but the Slovene put away a forehand volley.
Watson, who is still in the doubles, has not reached the third round of a Grand Slam since Wimbledon 2017 – 17 events ago.
Two top seeds did go out – and a former Wimbledon champion blamed Covid
No.3 seed Garbine Muguruza, the runner-up at Melbourne Park two years ago, suffered a shock 6-3 6-3 defeat to Alize Cornet.
And the Spaniard said her coaching team testing positive to Covid – and having to train on her own for a fortnight – explained her poor performance.
“It’s been a pretty stressful start of the year also with my team,” said Muguruza. “They all got COVID before coming here. We were for 15 days apart.
“It was hard for me for the preparation to come to the Aussie swing and play and perform well. That was tricky a little bit.
“Physically here I wasn’t also feeling my best. It was a kind of stressful start of the year. That threw me a little bit off.”
Unseeded Cornet, 31, said: “Today I stepped on the court thinking I’d have fun. That’s the best way I play. There was a lack of fun sometimes in my 16-year career. But right now I want to enjoy it. I don’t know how many years I have left. Today was a perfect gift.”
And No.6 Anett Kontaveit also went out 6-2 6-4 to Danish teenager Clara Tauson – the girls’ singles champion in 2019
And it was also farewell to an Australian legend – in the singles anyway
Sam Stosur played her final singles match at her home
Grand Slam when she lost 6-2 6-2 to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the Kia Arena.
The 2011 US Open champion was shown a video montage of tributes from fellow stars like Ash Barty at the end of her 20th Australian Open.
Stosur, 37, said: “It is really a special moment for me so thank you to everyone for coming out and sharing it. I’ve done more than I ever thought possible. I dreamed of winning a Grand Slam and doing close to what I did. To do what I’ve done, dreaming as a little kid, is phenomenal. Couldn’t have asked for more. It’s been amazing. I love you all.”
Her Russian opponent said: “It was actually emotional for me to. I had goosebumps. She is an amazing human being and a great tennis player.”
Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley, who has not spoken publicly since Novak Djokovic’s deportation, gave a short speech to thank Stosur for her contribution to “our great game” and was booed by some fans. Stosur will continue to play doubles.
But Aryna Sabalenka survived despite serving 19 double faults.
The Belarussian world No.2 served a ridiculous six double faults in her first service game – and three more in her second – as she lost the first set in 33 minutes to Xinyu Wang with her 12th double fault.
Sabalenka recovered to win 1-6 6-4 6-2 China’s world No.100. She also served 12 double faults as she came from a set down in her first round match against local wild card Storm Sanders on Tuesday
And the Belarussian admitted “I already had a lot of experience playing without the serve so I was just telling myself ‘you have enough shots to still win the match even if you cannot serve. This kind of mentality helped me to stay in the game and actually find my serve.”
She will face 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova in the third round.
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