The most anticipated match on day 2 of the 2017 Australian Open featured the number two seed, Serena Williams up against Belinda Bencic. While Serena laboured in her first tournament of the year in Auckland, it didn’t come as a surprise to see her produce a vastly improved performance in her first match in Melbourne, winning, 6-4 6-3.
Serena produced a magnificent shot in the first set, which is replayed in the post-match interview below. The American seemed in good spirits.
Serena will play Lucie Safarova in the second round after Lucie saved NINE, yes NINE, match points to beat Yanina Wickmayer, 3-6 7-6(7) 6-1. I still can’t quite get my head around this result for Lucie. While I do feel for Yanina, i’m thrilled for Lucie! This is just what she needed after losing her last six three set matches on tour.
Here’s a video of the nine match points!
And on top of this, Lucie produced an absolutely sensational shot in the third set. I can’t fathom how she got to this after having to change direction.
I’m sad to have missed a lot of the exciting action but did get to watch most of the third match up on the Margaret Court Arena between the number 18 seed, Sam Stosur and Heather Watson where the Brit prevailed in three sets, 6-3 3-6 6-0. Stosur had levelled up at one set all after winning a pivotal six-deuce game at *4-2 in the second set, clinching the game on an ace out wide.
While Watson scored a third set bagel, the scoreline was rather deceptive with four of the games going to deuce. Watson did very well to come out on the winning side of all the lengthy deuce games. The Brit held her first service game, saving one break point with an ace that was originally called out. She then claimed the first break of serve in the third set with the shot of the match, a tremendous on-the-run forehand passing shot winner. It was soooo good but i’m still searching for a replay of this point.
While Stosur had her obvious issues, I was very impressed by Watson who kept a solid level in the decider. Her serve is underrated in my opinion and she found some beautiful angles on her backhand as the forehand held up well. Watson has a great opportunity in this draw as she next plays the world number 116, Jennifer Brady in the second round. For now it’s just a great opportunity and I hope she can knuckle down and take advantage of it.
Stosur was one of just two upsets on day 2 in what was a great day for the seeds. Nicole Gibbs defeated the number 25 seed, Timea Babos to set up an all-American second round match with Falconi. Babos is yet to pick up a singles win in 2017.
CANCEL ALL YOUR PLANS FOR OSTAPOOTS! Thursday’s slate of matches is superb and will include the number 31 seed, Yulia Putintseva take on Jelena Ostapenko. Putintseva saved TEN set points and overcame what appeared to be a leg problem to edge past Lara Arruabarrena in two tiebreak sets, 7-6(7) 7-6(10).
A classic Poots celebration!
Awesome handshake alert… loved this from Naomi Osaka and Luksika Kumkhum
It sounds like Osaka’s press conference was a hoot! She was asked about her obsession with Ana Konjuh’s eyebrows which she tweeted about last week 😂.
Tipping my cap to Anna Blinkova who had a superb three set win over Monica Niculescu. To defeat the tricky Romanian takes a good player with a solid gameplan. One to watch this year and in the future for sure…
Johanna Konta fended off Kirsten Flipkens and a moth to reach the second round where she’ll play Osaka… I WANT TO WATCH THIS MATCH!
It was a great day for my two faves as Timea Bacsinszky battled to a gritty win over Camila Giorgi, 6-4 3-6 7-5. It’s impressive to see the likes of Bacsinszky, Carla Suárez Navarro and Caroline Garcia all win their first matches of the year having not played any warm-up tournaments.
Regular readers of the blog will know i’m a big fan of Timea so naturally, I loved this!
What a stat this is… Mirjana Lucic-Baroni came from a set down to defeat Wang Qiang, 4-6 6-3 6-4 on Tuesday.
And Lucic-Baroni will play Agnieszka Radwanska in a dangerous second round match for the number three seed. Radwanska was pushed to three sets by Tsvetana Pironkova in the last match of the day on the Rod Laver Arena. Aga hit a pretty neat tweener during the match.
Second round matches are on the schedule for Wednesday with Angelique Kerber, Garbiñe Muguruza and Svetlana Kuznetsova all in action. There’s a preview of my match of the day between Zhang Shuai and Alison Riske at the link below.
Two of the most interesting matches on Wednesday feature unseeded players; Shelby Rogers takes on Ashleigh Barty, while Jelena Jankovic plays Julia Goerges. I’m also keeping an eye on Monica Puig’s match against Mona Barthel; the German player has started the year in promising form and even more encouragingly, appears to be healthy. Thoughts on all of Wednesday’s matches are up in the usual place and polls for the matches in question below.