Australian Open 2016 Day 2 preview: Aussie pride highlights, result, recap and previews the most prestigious event opening in Melbourne Australia fight and play who is the best one Australian Open 2016 day 2 match-up men’s singles, women’s singles and doubles category.
Local favourite Lleyton Hewitt will look to prolong his career on Tuesday – but will need to beat a compatriot to do it. There are many remarkable things about Lleyton Hewitt’s career, but the one that stands out most is that he began so young and lasted so long.
This is his 20th and final Australian Open and he marvels at that number, and even more at the fact that he never missed one. Somehow he was always able to make himself fit enough to play at Melbourne Park. That often wasn’t easy for someone who has undergone five surgeries (foot and hip) since 2008.
In 1997 at 15, he qualified for the Australian Open. Later that same year, then 16, he won his first of 30 ATP titles at home in Adelaide, defeating the great Andre Agassi in the semifinals and compatriot Jason Stoltenberg in the final.
With the tennis world at his feet, the fresh-faced champion smiled shyly and said to the crowd afterward, “I don’t think I’ll be going to school this year.”
Fast forward 19 years and there can be no regrets after a career that has featured Wimbledon (2002) and US Open (2001) titles, becoming the youngest No. 1 in ATP rankings history, being part of two Davis Cup-winning teams and earning $20.7 million (US) in official prize money.
At 178cm, Hewitt was an undersized pro and lacked a knock-out punch from the baseline. But he had Jimmy Connors/Rafael Nadal grit and spirit and possessed the best lob in tennis history – a precision-perfect arc that burst the balloons of hundreds of net rushers who watched helplessly as he checkmated them with a feathery touch.
Hewitt will remain prominent in tennis as Davis Cup captain, beginning with a tie in March against the United States at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club in Melbourne.
On Tuesday evening at Rod Laver Arena, he hopes to prolong his final appearance at Melbourne Park against dinkum fellow-Aussie James Duckworth, a 23-year-old from Sydney who was texting with Hewitt in the hours leading up to last Friday’s draw that paired them for the first round.
Also on the card in the day session are Nadal, facing Spanish compatriot Fernando Verdasco in a re-match of their mythic five-hour and 14-minute 2009 semifinal won by Rafa on his way to his only Aussie Open title, and Andy Murray against Alexander Zverev of Germany, a 198cm beanpole and a leading light of generation next.
Women’s second seed, Simona Halep, debuts against qualifier Zhang Shuai of China, third seed Garbine Muguruza plays Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, while Venus Williams, No. 8, faces Johanna Konta of Britain.
Venus is 35 but still a baby compared to men’s doubles No. 19 Daniel Nestor.
The wily Canadian, 43, recalls preparing to play a 17-year-old Hewitt in a 1998 Challenger final in Hong Kong. He was convinced he could beat the Aussie on a fast court, but the match wound up being cancelled by Typhoon Babs.
Looking back, Nestor laughs at his 26-year-old bravado, joking, “I don’t think I really understood how good he was.”
Jack Sock def. Taylor Fritz in four
This is the present future of American tennis, No. 26-ranked Sock, 23, versus the future future, qualifier 18-year-old Fritz, the world No. 1 junior last year and already ranked No. 154 as a pro.
Venus Williams def. Johanna Konta in three
Both finished 2015 strong and have begun 2016 poorly – Williams 0-1 and Konta 0-2. Williams survived 7-5 in the third set against the No. 47-ranked Briton last fall in Wuhan, China, and prevails again.
Ana Kontaveit def. Garbine Muguruza
A runner-up a Wimbledon last year, the third-seeded Muguruza has been bothered by painful foot problem, plantar faciitis, and is vulnerable against the 20-year-old Estonian.
Fabio Fognini vs. Gilles Muller
Mt. Vesuvius and Fabio Fognini are both situated in Italy. On Court 8 at 11am on Tuesday, there may not be lava flowing, but volatile Fabio could explode in the heat against the cool, left-handed Luxembourger.
The nine Grand Slam champions in the women’s draw are outnumbered by 10 Grand Slam bridesmaids. Those ultimately missing out on the big prize include (last names only) Vinci, Muguruza, Bouchard, Halep, Cibulkova, Lisicki, Radwanska, Errani, Wozniacki and Jankovic.
So Victoria Azarenka’s clash with Alison Van Uytvanck will be the final match to be played in Melbourne today.
The biggest story of the day is Nadal’s exit. The Spaniard has now failed to reach the second week of three consecutive major tournaments while he has not made the semi-finals since winning the French Open in 2014.
Here are his last three slam disappointments:
Wimbledon 2015: Loses to Dustin Brown in the second round, 7-5 3-6 6-4 6-4.
US Open 2015: Loses to Fabio Fognini in the third round, 3-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4.
Australian Open 2016: Loses to Fernando Verdasco in the first round, 7-6 (8/6), 4-6 3-6 7-6 (7/4) 6-2.
|Round||Winning Player||Losing Player||Score|
|1||Fernando Verdasco||(5) Rafael Nadal||7-6(6), 4-6, 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-2|
|1||(2) Andy Murray||Alexander Zverev||6-1, 6-2, 6-3|
|1||(4) Stan Wawrinka||Dmitry Tursunov||7-6(2), 6-3, Ret.|
|1||Lleyton Hewitt||James Duckworth||7-6(5), 6-2, 6-4|
|1||(10) John Isner||Jerzy Janowicz||6-3, 7-6(7), 6-3|
|1||Rajeev Ram||(11) Kevin Anderson||7-6(4), 6-7(4), 6-3, 3-0, Ret.|
|1||(8) David Ferrer||Peter Gojowczyk||6-4, 6-4, 6-2|
|1||(13) Milos Raonic||Lucas Pouille||6-1, 6-4, 6-4|
|1||(16) Bernard Tomic||Denis Istomin||6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4|
|1||(23) Gael Monfils||Yuichi Sugita||6-1, 6-3, 6-2|
|1||(25) Jack Sock||Taylor Fritz||6-4, 3-6, 0-6, 6-3, 6-4|
|1||Gilles Muller||(20) Fabio Fognini||7-6(6), 7-6(7), 6-7(5), 7-6(1)|
|1||(18) Feliciano Lopez||Daniel Evans||6-1, 6-0, 6-4|
|1||(31) Steve Johnson||Aljaz Bedene||6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3)|
|1||(32) Joao Sousa||Mikhail Kukushkin||6-3, 6-4, 6-3|
|1||(30) Jeremy Chardy||Ernests Gulbis||7-5, 2-6, 6-7(5), 6-3, 13-11|
|Round||Winning Player||Losing Player||Score|
|1||Zhang Shuai||(2) Simona Halep||6-4, 6-3|
|1||Johanna Konta||(8) Venus Williams||6-4, 6-2|
|1||(3) Garbine Muguruza||Anett Kontaveit||6-0, 6-4|
|1||(14) Victoria Azarenka||Alison Van Uytvanck||6-0, 6-0|
|1||(15) Madison Keys||Zarina Diyas||7-6(5), 6-1|
|1||(9) Karolina Pliskova||Kimberly Birrell||6-4, 6-4|
|1||(20) Ana Ivanovic||Tammi Patterson||6-2, 6-3|
|1||(19) Jelena Jankovic||Polona Hercog||6-3, 6-3|
|1||(7) Angelique Kerber||Misaki Doi||6-7(4), 7-6(6), 6-3|
|1||(21) Ekaterina Makarova||Maddison Inglis||6-3, 6-0|
|1||(30) Sabine Lisicki||Petra Cetkovska||6-4, 6-4|
|1||Barbora Strycova||(32) Caroline Garcia||6-2, 6-4|
|1||(11) Timea Bacsinszky||Katerina Siniakova||6-3, 7-5|
|1||(18) Elina Svitolina||Victoria Duval||6-2, 6-3|
|1||Johanna Larsson||(29) Irina-Camelia Begu||6-3, 6-2|
|1||Varvara Lepchenko||(31) Lesia Tsurenko||6-7(5), 6-2, 6-3|