While there were fewer upsets on day 2 of the 2016 Australian Open, these ones were rather more seismic in their impact. The fourth quarter of the draw has now lost its two highest seeds in Simona Halep (2) and Venus Williams (8). It was easily the toughest quarter to predict and while I was unsure of both Halep and Williams, I found it hard to see who would take their place! Right now i’m fancying Makarova to sneak through and reach the semi-finals. Anyway, here are ten things that caught my attention from day 2…
The loss of seeds is a big story but just as much emphasis should be on the players who caused the upsets… step forward, Shuai Zhang. The Chinese player had lost 14 consecutive Grand Slam main draw matches and only just went and broke her streak beating the number two player in the world. Her on-court interview is a tearjerker and very moving… stories like this is what makes tennis so special and why I love this sport.
Johanna Konta had a fantastic win over Venus Williams on the one of the biggest stages of them all. Here’s an interview from the Australian Open You Tube page.
Angelique Kerber was on the EDGE today, saving a match point to beat Misaki Doi, 6-7(4) 7-6(6) 6-3. Kerber had started the match so well; however when Doi started to put a bit of a pressure on, smacking away forehand winners, Kerber backed off, became passive and seemed to wait for her opponent to miss. In the end, it was a great effort for Kerber to get the win and hopefully it will give her some confidence going forward with what is a pretty favourable draw. I did hear though she was troubled by a back injury…
Poor Misaki Doi… her forehand is AWESOME but she has serious problems closing out matches.
And finally from the Kerber v Doi match, there were some super photos shared on social media.
I was really impressed with Naomi Osaka today who beat Donna Vekic, 6-3 6-2. She’s already won ten matches in 2016 and is definitely one to watch.
And Osaka plays Elina Svitolina in the second round, which should be a fascinating match. I’ll be previewing it here on Moo’s Tennis Blog tomorrow. Here’s another great shot from @katsheart on Twitter, this time of Svitolina.
Jelena was bright like the SUN today
The big upset from the men’s draw was Rafael Nadal going out to Fernando Verdasco in five sets. Two things that grabbed me… *that* rally on set point and Verdasco’s incredible winners to unforced error tally, finishing off with number 90 on a crunching return.
And finally, trying to follow today was made even more challenging when Twitter decided to just die for many, many hours…