The first major of the year has arrived, and the first week has held some exciting tennis. Five-set thrillers, upsets, and familiar as well as new faces. In case you missed some of the action from down under, no matter which time zone you’re in, here is a recap of week one.
The Canadian representation was strong going into the Australian Open, with only a few still standing. We saw some impressive games as well as disappointments from both the women’s and the men’s side.
Leylah Annie Fernandez – Round of 128
Fernandez had a good Australian stretch, with victories against players like Sloane Stephens. However, the young teenager didn’t have the best luck in the first round this year. Facing off against a strong player like Elise Mertens, Fernandez couldn’t come up with an answer. Although she played with aggression, Mertens proved to be too much for the Canadian.
Rebecca Marino – Round of 64
If you’ve been following Canadian tennis during this tournament, then you’ve probably heard Marino’s story. The Canadian qualifier is no stranger to the game.
After going through several breaks from tennis and the loss of her father, Marino made her return once again. In the three matches she played in Australia (including the Gippsland Trophy), she managed to win one. The biggest disparity in her loss against Vondrousova was her inability to convert break points. Out of 11 break points, Marino only converted two of them, which didn’t help when she couldn’t hold her serve either. All factors considered, Marino’s return to tennis is a sign of optimism that she can continue to produce results once more. As she gets more reps in and plays in more tournaments, we can be sure to see more of this Canadian player.
Bianca Andreescu – Round of 64
Another return to tennis, but one that hits home for newer tennis fans. 8th seed Bianca Andreescu made her return from injury again, much to the happiness of fans everywhere.
Even though she didn’t make it very far, Andreescu hit the court for the first time since 2019, and we couldn’t be more happy for her. Bianca Andreescu has been putting in the work during her time off the tour and we’ll see more results this year.
Vasek Pospisil – Round of 128
Pospisil was one of the many players involved in the quarantine scandal that occurred when a player tested positive on an airplane headed to the Australian Open.
Not the best prep, indeed. Pospisil fell to Daniil Medvedev in three straight sets, quite possibly to little surprise. Medvedev has been one of the newest stars on the ATP tour, so Canadian tennis fans who were hoping to see Vasek Pospisil will just have to wait a while longer.
Milos Raonic, Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime
Two out of three of these Canadians are still in the tournament, which was the best case scenario. Milos Raonic beat Marton Fucsovics in four sets, but it was not as straightforward as it seems. Early in the match, Raonic was having trouble closing out games, and picked it up after Fucsovics was forced to take a medical timeout for an apparent leg injury.
Now, the Canadian matchup we were all waiting for: Denis Shapovalov (11) vs Felix Auger-Aliassime (20). I’d love to say it was close, but this match was all Felix. Shapovalov committed over 30 unforced errors, and that was ultimately not enough to keep up with FAA’s level of tennis.
I’ll be covering more of the Australian Open and Canadian coverage on Twitter, so follow me while you’re at it @crinamm.
The future of Canadian tennis is here, and the talent is immense.
Big Names – Out!
Not all of the big names will make it far in grand slams, so let’s see some of these upsets.
ATP Tour Top 10 Seeds
8. Diego Schwartzman
The eighth seed from Argentina bowed out after three rounds at the Australian Open, losing to Karatsev in three straight sets. Karatsev’s power proved to be too much for the 5’5 athlete, resulting in some powerful winners.
10. Gael Monfils
Poor luck for the Frenchman, and a sad sight to see for all the Monfils fans out there. He just hasn’t been able to make an impact in a while, and we can certainly feel for him.
Here’s a clip reel of his best trick shots, as Monfils the showman, what he is well known for.
WTA Top 10 Seeds
4. Sofia Kenin
The biggest upset of the tournament so far came from somebody who has experience shocking top ten players. Kaia Kanepi stunned Sofia Kenin in straight sets, which is no surprise to those familiar with her history.
9. Petra Kvitova
In an up-and-down match, Petra Kvitova lost to Romania’s Sorana Cirstea. Cirstea was able to stay calm and collected, even after losing the second set 1-6. Cirstea would go on to lose in the third round, but her victory against former Australian Open finalist Kvitova was nevertheless impressive.
Several of the round of 16 matches still need to be decided for both the men and the women, but here are some key matchups to watch out for tonight:
|Today · 8:15 p.m. Round of 32|
|Today · 9:30 p.m. Round of 32|
|Today · 10:30 p.m. Round of 32|
|Today · 7:00 p.m. Round of 32|
|Today · 7:00 p.m. Round of 32|
|Today · 10:15 p.m. Round of 32|
Well folks, that’s all for week one! Catch me back here next week for more updates on the #AustralianOpen and don’t forget to follow Unbenched Sports on Instagram and Twitter to stay informed. We’ll be doing a merch giveaway on Instagram (@unbenched_) when we hit 200 followers and the Twitter (@unbenched_) giveaway ends tomorrow! Thank you for all your support in our network.