Friday 15 November 2019

Ivanovic leads exodus on day of shocks for women's seeds

Serbia's Ana Ivanovic plays a shot during her women's singles match against Czech Republic's Lucie Hradecka
Serbia's Ana Ivanovic plays a shot during her women's singles match against Czech Republic's Lucie Hradecka

Simon Briggs in Melbourne

NO fewer than eight women’s seeds made early exits from the Australian Open yesterday on a day of surprises and high excitement for the home crowd in Melbourne.

The loss of the world No 5 Ana Ivanovic, well known here after she spent a couple of years dating Australian golfer Adam Scott, might have been a disappointment for her many admirers.

However, the night session turned into a raucous tennis party after Australia’s two hugely talented teenagers, Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, won their first-round matches after thrilling five-set battles.

Ivanovic was beaten by the unseeded Czech Lucie Hradecka, a qualifier better known for her doubles expertise, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Joining her at the exit were Belinda Bencic (the 32nd seed), Zarina Diyas (31st), Svetlana Kuznetsova (27th), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (23rd), Carla Suarez Navarro (17th), Lucie Safarova (16th), and Angelique Kerber (ninth).

Maria Sharapova restored some order to the rankings with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Petra Martic in the day’s final match.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer both eased into the second round with straight-sets wins. Nadal dispatched Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, while Federer enjoyed a straight-sets victory against the world No 47 Yen-Hsun Lu 6-4, 6-2, 7-5, racking  up his 1,001st career win in 1 hour 53 minutes.

Sixth seed Andy Murray, bidding for a maiden Australian Open title after three trips to the final, opened up with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3) win over Indian qualifier Yuki Bhambria. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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