January 20, 2016
Aussie sensation Daria Gavrilova pulled off the surprise of the day in Melbourne by dumping two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova out of the tournament.
The crowd went wild as the 21-year-old defeated sixth-seeded Kvitova 6-4, 6-4 to register one of the best victories of her career.
Meanwhile defending champion Serena Williams encountered no such problems as she saw off Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei 6-1, 6-2.
And strong men’s favourite Novak Djokovic looked imperious too, defeating France’s Quentin Halys in straight sets.
Djokovic did seem to take his foot off the gas in the third set and needed a tie-break to close out the match 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3). But few would bet against him retaining his ttitle, even though Roger Federer impressed during a 6-3, 7-5, 6-1 win over Alexandr Dolgopolov.
The Fed served like a dream, managing 25 aces and winning 43 out of 49 first-serve points. Not that his twin daughters were impressed. Cameras captured them looking at books instead of their father’s game.
‘They don’t get so excited watching me play yet,’ Federer admitted.
But there is considerable excitement over his next challenge, a showdown with Grigor Dimitrov as early as the third round.
There was already a battle of the big names today in the women’s singles, as fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska made light work of defeating Eugenie Bouchard 6-4, 6-2. The talented Canadian is still struggling to recapture her best form from two years ago, but the Pole is looking good for a tilt at the final stages here.
The day belonged to Russian-born Gavrilova, however, who loves Australia so much and is now seeing that feeling fully reciprocated by the Melbourne faithful.
The Australian Open Grand Slam atmosphere is building…and it will continue to do so until the biggest of them all this European summer.
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