Defending champion Sofia Kenin is out of the Australian Open in the second round after a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Kaia Kanepi.
After her first-round win, Kenin talked about how nervous she was as the defending champion at a major for the first time.
Against Kanepi, she looked it. She was near tears during a changeover toward the end of the match.
The 65th-ranked Kanepi was hardly an underdog: she had beaten Kenin in their only previous match and is a six-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist. The Australian Open is the only Slam where Kanepi has not reached the quarterfinals.
The fourth-seeded Kenin only had 10 winners in the match, while committing 22 unforced errors.
The defending #AusOpen champion goes down.
Kaia Kanepi pulls the Round 2 upset of Sofia Kenin. pic.twitter.com/t7gofjUvER
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) February 11, 2021
Top-seeded Ash Barty dropped a few more points in her second-round match at the Australian Open than her first, but the result was still the same.
Barty followed up her 6-0, 6-0 drubbing of Danka Kovinic in the first round with a much tighter 6-1, 7-6 (7) win over fellow Australian Daria Gavrilova.
After dropping just 10 points against Kovinic, Barty was far less consistent against Gavrilova, racking up 34 unforced errors.
Barty’s serve was a particular problem: she was broken four times, including when serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set.
Former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova advances to the third round at the Australian Open by beating American Danielle Collins, a semifinalist at Melbourne Park in 2019, 7-5, 6-2.
Pliskova, seeded sixth, lost serve twice in a seesaw first set but pulled it out and then pulled away. She finished with seven aces.
Pliskova has won 65 matches in Grand Slams but is still seeking her first major title. She was runner-up to Angelique Kerber at the 2016 U.S. Open.
American Shelby Rogers advances to the third round at the Australian Open for the first time by beating qualifier Olga Danilovic 6-2, 6-3.
Rogers hit seven aces and lost only three points on her first serve.
She came into the tournament with a career record of 1-4 in Melbourne, but at age 28 her fortunes have been on the rise. She reached the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open for the first time last September, and her year-end ranking was a career-best No. 58.
Day 4 at Melbourne Park features the No. 1 women’s player in the world and the 2020 singles champion in temperatures which are expected to be the hottest of the first week.
The weather forecast is for mostly sunny skies and a high temperature of 33 degrees Celsius, or 91 degrees Fahrenheit.
American 16-year-old Coco Gauff takes on fifth-seeded Elina Svitolina, a two-time Australian Open quarterfinalist, in the opening night match at Rod Laver Arena.
Another American, Michael Mmoh, will have an even tougher task, playing No. 2 Rafael Nadal. The Spanish lefthander is looking to win a men’s-record 21st Grand Slam singles title.
Divij, Ankita bow out Australian Open doubles with respective partners
India’s Divij Sharan and Ankita Raina crashed out of the Australian Open men’s and women’s doubles events respectively, after suffering straight set defeats in the opening round here on Thursday.
Ankita, the third Indian woman tennis player to secure a place in the main draw of a Grand Slam event, and her partner Mihaela Buzarnecu of Romania lost 3-6 0-6 in just one hour and 17 minutes at the hands of Australian wild card pair of Olivia Gadecki and Belinda Woolcock.
India’s challenge also ended in the men’s doubles competition after Divij and his
Slovakian partner Igor Zelenay lost 1-6 4-6 against the German combination of Yannick Hanfmann Kevin Krawietz in the first round match that lasted one hour and four minutes.
On Wednesday, the other Indian in men’s doubles event, Rohan Bopanna and Japan’s Ben McLachlan bowed out in the opening round after a 4-6 6-7(0) defeat to the Korean wild card pair of Ji Sung Nam and Min-Kyu Song.
The veteran Bopanna, however, still has a chance to make amends as he will partner China’s Yingying Duan in the mixed doubles and will be up against the pair of American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and United Kingdom’s Jamie Murray in the first round.