Australian Open 2018: Opening day full of upsets

TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN STOCK
Stock photograph of an Australian Open Tennis Ball. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING

Now back in the UK and still without any sleep for over 24 hours thanks to a cramped BA flight, and I obviously haven’t really got my teeth into the Open, but it was certainly an eventful first day.

Catching up now with highlight videos provided by the normally excellent Australian Open website which has made a curious redesign of its video page – not sure it works all too well.

In a bad day for America, the losses of Sock and Isner especially but also Ferrer and Kohlschreiber are notable, but Kyle Edmund’s five set victory over 11th seed and US Open finalist Kevin Anderson probably takes the headline spoils.

But it was in the women’s competition where most waves were made today: 2017 semi-finalist and for some the revelation of 2017 Coco Vandeweghe wasn’t allowed any sort of foothold by the gutsy and guttural Timea Babos. Likewise – in the biggest shock of the day by far – an off-colour Venus Williams was blown away by Belinda Bencic, forever dangerous and fresh from the Hopman Cup victory. The Swiss was ruthless yet measured, going for her shots and clinching them, the unplayable combination. Sam Stosur was of course the other big name to fall, although I found this less of a shock given her career trajectory.

Elsewhere, who looked good?

Apart from the seed-killers delivering the above shock-results, who among the more established favourites looked good today? There were convincing wins for Nadal, Dimitrov and Krygios and Cilic also came through in four against floating qualifier Pospisil. For the women, well Julia Goerges is going to go far amid her renaissance and Wozniacki and Svitolina are still kind favourites.

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