Roger Federer returned to Wimbledon and advanced to the second round in quicker fashion than expected after Alexandr Dolgopolov was unfortunately forced to retire suffering with a pre-existing leg injury.
The third seed looked good during his 42 minutes out on court, breaking his opponent twice in the opening set to take it 6-3 and led 3-0 with Dolgopolov serving at 30-30 in the second set before Dolgopolov shook hands.
Federer got off to the perfect start, not allowing Dolgopolov to settle in to his first match on Centre Court in his career. A double fault left the Ukrainian facing break point and despite saving it with an unreturned serve the Swiss took the second chance drawing the error from his opponent after bringing him forward to the net.
Dolgopolov had a 15-30 advantage on both of the Swiss’ opening two service games but was unable to capitalise before facing two more break points himself in the seventh game. The Ukrainian stepped up and continued to try and play the match on his own terms, saving both chances with big forehands before holding to stay in touch in the opening set.
Serving to stay in set, a blistering return of serve winner which caught the back edge of the line from Federer followed by a third double fault from Dolgopolov brought up two set points for the third seed. The Ukrainian saved the first but Federer claimed the second to take a one set lead in this opening round match on Centre Court.
Federer dominated early on in the second set as well, with Dolgopolov continuing to struggle with injury. The Swiss broke in his opponent’s service game once again and swiftly established a 3-0 lead. The fourth game on the Ukrainian’s serve went to 30-30 before Dolgopolov walked to the net to shake hands and call time on the match, the second retirement of the day on Centre Court after Martin Klizan also withdrew during his match against Novak Djokovic.
The third seed will now face the winner of the match between Dusan Lajovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the round two on Thursday.
Stefanos Tsitsipas starts his Australian Open campaign with a straight-set win over Salvatore Caruso
Last year’s Australian Open semifinalist and ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas dropped just five games in his 6-0 6-2 6-3 win over Italy’s Salvatore Caruso after 1 hour and 43 minutes.
Tsitsipas earned three consecutive breaks to cruise to a bagel win in the opening set. Caruso saved the first break point and held his first service game to draw level to 1-1, but she Tsitsipas converted his third break point chance at deuce to open up a 3-1 lead. The Greek player earned his second break at love in the eighth game.
Tsitsipas went up a break at love in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Caruso saved three match points in the eighth game at 2-5 to prolong the match, but Tsitsipas served out the win at 30 with an ace down middle the court in the ninth game after 1 hour and 45 minutes setting up a second round match against either Phillip Kohlschreiber or Marcos Giron.
“Today I tried to stay calm. That was something that I had really in the back of my head, trying to stay calm, be aggressive on and off the court. I would describe the match the match as very stable. Throughout the match I was very focused. I was in the zone, and I am very happy with my first set. It was almost perfect. I don’t remember the last time that I won a set 6-0. It was a good quality tennis. Let’s not forget the people here. The people that bring the energy. I will give it to them”, said Tsitsipas in the post-match interview.
Matteo Berrettini cruises past wild card Andrew Harris to advance to the Australian Open second round
Number 8 seed and 2019 US Open semifinalist Matteo Berrettini cruised past Australian wild card Andrew Harris 6-3 6-1 6-3 in the first round of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.
Berrettini converted five of his nine break points and hit 38 winners. The Italian player won the opening set 6-3 with a break in the second game at deuce and the second set with three consecutive breaks.
Berrettini came back from 0-40 down by winning five consecutive points in the sixth game of the third set to earn the break at deuce for 4-2 when Harris hit a forehand into the net. Berrettini sealed the win with a big forehand on the match point after 1 hour and 55 minutes.
Berrettini will take on either US Tennys Sandgren or Argentine qualifier Marco Trungelliti.
“It’s always tough because I played my last official match in November. I figured out how to play my best tennis, so I am really happy with my performance. Like always, I am going round by round. I am happy that I am healthy and playing well”, said Berrettini.
Last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannick Sinner was leading 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 4-4, before the match was suspended due to rain. The Italian rising star converted four of his eight break points. Sinner went down a break in the seventh game to trail 3-5 in the opening set, but he broke back in the 10th game before winning the tie-break 7-2. Sinner broke twice to win the second set 6-2. Sinner went up a break in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead, but Purcell broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Sinner, who is making his first appearance at Melbourne Park, holds a 15-30 lead at 4-4 in the third set.
Sam Querrey stunned Borna Coric 6-3 6-4 6-4 setting up a second round match against Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis, who eased past Roberto Carballes Baena 6-4 6-2 6-2.
Guido Pella edged Australian wild card John Patrick Smith 6-3 7-5 6-4 to secure his spot in the second round, where he will face France’s Gregoire Barrere, who came back from one set down to beat Egyptian qualifier Mohamed Safwat 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 7-6 (7-5).
Grigor Dimitrov Causes A Stir At Australian Open With Crazy Outfit
The world No.20 has split opinion about what he is wearing at Melbourne Park.
Grigor Dimitrov’s first round match at the Australian Open didn’t centre round how or who he was playing. It was about what he was wearing on the court.
The former Wimbledon semi-finalist triggered a mass reaction on social media when walking into the Melbourne Arena wearing a navy blue Nike spotted tracksuit. A decision by the Bulgarian that has split opinion among tennis fans. Although Dimitrov has no regrets about the outfit, which he helped design along with Nike.
“It is! I just don’t wanna be a vanilla. I love being different,” the 28-year-old told reporters when asked if it was a fashion statement.
Dimitrov a set down to Londero — which he deserves just because of this. https://t.co/VEbLhe7LYH
— Gaspar Ribeiro Lança (@gasparlanca) January 20, 2020
Besides the tracksuit, the 18th seed also caught the attention of fans with what he was wearing underneath. His abstract T-shirt featured a combination of white, black, pink and red. Drawing more questions about the decision behind what he is wearing on the courts in Melbourne. His shorts are more orthodox with just a plain navy blue colour.
Dimitrov's outfit. pic.twitter.com/OdE0BjTzZj
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) January 20, 2020
In his first round match, Dimitrov battled back from a set down to edge out Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Londero 4-6, 6-2, 6-0, 6-4. During the at times roller coaster encounter, the world No.20 hit 17 aces and blasted 47 winners past his opponent. Recording his third win of the season following his two singles victories during the ATP Cup.
“I was just trying to get my rhythm. It was a very tough first set. I was unable to find my striking zone and did a lot of unforced errors.” A critically speaking Dimitrov commented during his on-court interview.
Dimitrov will play either Tommy Paul or Leonardo Mayer in the second round.
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