It’s been an exciting first week at the Australian Open! There is never any shortage of drama at the first Slam of the year, and the 2016 edition has been no different. Here are some highlights (and low-lights) from the first 5 days of action.
Nadal upset in the first round by fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco
This was clearly the biggest upset of the week, if not one of the biggest in years. Albeit, drawing Verdasco in the first round was unlucky, but Nadal was simply outgunned. Verdasco hit 90 winners in the match from both wings, with many of them topping 100 mph, even deep into the fifth set. This is disappointing given Nadal’s improved form as of late, but hats off to Verdasco for playing an incredible match, and finding redemption from their 5+ hour battle on the same court in 2009. Verdasco wins 7-6(6), 4-6, 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-2.
Top seeds cruise
Djokovic, Federer, Murray, Wawrinka, Serena and Sharapova have all breezed through their matches thus far.
Venus bows out in the first round
Venus was stunned in the first round by relative unknown Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2. In a rare occurrence, she showed her age with unforced errors as her opponent dictated play, winning fairly easily.
Farewell to Lleyton Hewitt
Hewitt played the final match of his career on Rod Laver arena in the second round. He showed his usual fight, but was simply overmatched by world #8 David Ferrer in 3 sets. He had an emotional farewell on court while they showed a video with other top players wishing him well, and with his three children by his side.
Mixed results for Americans
Serena and John Isner are cruising, with neither dropping a set thus far. Madison Keys survived a second round scare in three sets as she tries to follow up her semifinal appearance in Melbourne in 2015. Jack Sock took out the young American Taylor Fritz in five tight sets in the first round before falling to Lukas Rosol in the second round. Steve Johnson, the 31 seed, is safely through to the 3rd round.
Roger Federer becomes the first man to win 300 Grand Slam matches
The Swiss Master’s 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 win over Grigor Dimitrov (aka Baby Fed) adds another feather to his already decorated cap. Only Martina Navratilova, with 306 singles wins, stands above Federer. What can’t he achieve? Federer for president?
Serena’s “crop top” takes center stage
It seems a Grand Slam norm for Serena’s outfits to be a hot topic. This year’s Aussie Open is no different with her bright yellow crop top. Serena said, “I live in a crop top, sleep in crop tops, I’m often never seen without one,” she said, “so I thought it would be really fun to play in one. It was something I actually sketched, I wanted to think outside the box. I’ve been on tour for a long time, I’ve been wearing so many different designs, I just wanted to push the envelope again, to bring pop culture to tennis and make it really fun.” But when you romp girls 6-1, 6-1 in 44 min (the beating she handed to 18-year-old Russian Daria Kasatkina today), you can get away with pretty much anything.