Melbourne: Two-time finalist Daniil Medvedev and US Open champion Coco Gauff swept into the second round of the Australian Open on Monday, but Wimbledon winner Marketa Vondrousova was sent packing.
On a baking-hot day at Melbourne Park, men’s seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and 16th seed Ben Shelton also tasted victory, while Naomi Osaka’s Grand Slam comeback on Rod Laver Arena in the evening session ended in the first round loss to Caroline Garcia.
Third seed Medvedev battled tough conditions on Margaret Court Arena against French qualifier Terence Atmane, who smashed his racquet, served underarm and retired in tears after suffering bad cramping that forced him off court while losing 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 1-0.
“When I started to feel tough physically he started cramping, so it was brutal conditions,” said Russia’s Medvedev, a finalist in 2021 and 2022.
“I was getting tired but many times in these situations the other guy is getting tired too and it’s about who manages it better.”
The Russian will face Finland’s unseeded Emil Ruusuvuori in the next round.
Tsitsipas, who lost last year’s final to Novak Djokovic, was stunned by Belgian lucky loser Zizou Bergs in the first set, but woke up to take complete control and win 5-7, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3.
Berrettini pulls out
The Greek star was due to meet Italian Matteo Berrettini, but the former world No 6 withdrew with a foot injury on Sunday.
The 16-year-old reached the second round, with Mirra Andreeva beating 29-year-old Bernarda Pera 7-5, 6-2 to set up a second-round match with sixth-seeded Ons Jabeur, a three-time runner-up at Grand Slams.
Women’s sixth seed Tunisian eased to a 6-3, 6-1 win over Yulia Starodubtsewa of Ukraine to have a perfect start to the year. Jabeur, who won two titles and finished runners-up at Wimbledon last year, will be looking to better her quarter-final show in Melbourne in 2020.
“I’m really excited for this,” Andreeva said about playing Jabeur. “I said many times before that, she’s the player that I was looking up to. I really like the way she plays her game and I’m sure it’s going to be a great match.”
Australia’s newest top-10 player, Alex de Minaur, advanced after a truncated night match on Rod Laver Arena. He was leading 2016 Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic 6-7 (6), 6-3, 2-0 when the big-serving Canadian retired from the match with an injury.
Women’s fourth seed Gauff said ahead of the opening Grand Slam of the year that she wanted to win “multiple” major titles after her breakthrough at Flushing Meadows in 2023.
The 19-year-old put the plan into motion with a 6-3, 6-0 rout of Slovakia’s 68th-ranked Anna Karolina Schmiedlova on centre court.
‘Didn’t play good’
“I was a little bit nervous coming in today. Probably could tell. I was able to just calm down and then play my good, not my best, but good tennis,” said Gauff, who successfully defended her Auckland title in the lead-up.
Her reward is a clash with unseeded American Caroline Dolehide in round two.
While she lived to fight another day, it was curtains for Vondrousova, who slumped 6-1, 6-2 to Ukrainian qualifier Dayana Yastremska.
The Czech seventh seed pulled out of the warm-up Adelaide International last week with a hip injury and said she was also struggling with a sore shoulder, which affected her serve.
“I didn’t practise much before the tournament because I was injured,” she said after becoming the highest seed to depart so far.
“She played a good match, I didn’t play good, that’s why (I lost).”
Another Ukrainian, Elina Svitolina, also progressed, demolishing Australian Taylah Preston for the loss of just four games.
Murray unlikely to return to Melbourne
Five-time Australian Open finalist Andy Murray lost in straight sets (6-4, 6-2, 6-2) to Tomas Martin Etcheverry and said this might be his last match at Melbourne Park.
“It’s a definite possibility that will be the last time I play here. I think probably because of how the match went and everything, I don’t know,” said the 36-year-old, who has lost five finals at Melbourne Park.
Stan Wawrinka, the only man apart from Djokovic in the field to have won the title, later took Adrian Mannarino to five sets before bowing out 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 6-3 6-0.
Argentine Etcheverry plays another seasoned campaigner in Gael Monfils next after the Frenchman defeated Yannick Hanfmann 6-4 6-3 7-5 to join wife Elina Svitolina, an earlier 6-2 6-2 winner over Australian Taylah Preston, in the second round.