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Australian Open – Naomi Osaka on the right foot

Barty did not drag

She opened the first “night session” of the fortnight on the Rod Laver Arena, but Ashleigh Barty obviously had no intention of going to bed too late on Monday. The world number 1 took only 54 tiny minutes to scatter her first opponent of the fortnight, the Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko, from qualifying. The latter finally saved a game (6-0, 6-1), not without having saved two “double bagel” balls a few minutes earlier. Barty, who is aiming for a third Grand Slam title and the first in front of her home crowd, will face another qualifier, the Italian Lucia Bronzetti, in the second round.

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Osaka in reconquest?

With Naomi Osaka, you never quite know which foot to dance on. The Japanese had made a convincing start to the season two weeks ago in Mellbourne, before withdrawing before her semi-final officially due to an abdominal injury, more likely to a general state of fatigue. Worrying? Ultimately, no. The former world No. 1 (seed No. 13 this year in Australia) made a good start on Monday morning against the young Colombian Camila Osorio, victorious last year of her first title on the WTA circuit. , at her home in Bogota.

Despite, all the same, a fairly high waste rate (28 unforced errors), Osaka generally imposed its strike force without shaking. After a difficult 2021 season for various extra-sporting reasons, is the former boss of women’s tennis able to succeed in her recovery operation at the top? To be confirmed, all the same, during the next rounds.

Osaka – Osorio: video highlights

Sakkari did not laugh

Scheduled in the first rotation at the Rod Laver Arena just before Osaka, Maria Sakkari (n°5), for her part, was not amused by the one whose name is the homonym of her first name, namely the German Tatjana Maria. The latter notably led 4-3 in the 1st set then 5-4 and 6-5 in the 2nd set, coming within two points of winning this one. But, true to herself, the semi-finalist of Roland-Garros and the US Open 2021 has tightened the game perfectly when necessary.

Sakkari – Maria: video highlights

Jaber in D Minor

Finally, the first headliner eliminated from this Australian Open was eliminated without playing: Ons Jabeur (n ° 9) was indeed forced to forfeit due to a back injury, this one who forced her to retire in the quarter-final against Anett Kontaveit last week in Sydney. A blow for the one who announced herself as a real outsider in this tournament.

Gauff passed by

She probably hoped for much better to start her 2022 season. But Cori Gauff saw her Australian Open end when it had barely started. This Monday, the 17-year-old American, seeded 18th in the tournament, was swept away by Qiang Wang, 112th in the world, in two sets (6-4, 6-2) in 1h13 of play on Margaret Court arena.

The Chinese, now coached by Pat Cash, showed impressive solidity and even nearly inflicted a “bubble” on Gauff, serving for the match at 5-0. If the American revolted a little at the end of the game, the damage was done. With 38 unforced errors for 15 small winning shots, she couldn’t really have hoped for better. It is only the second time in her very young career that she has been eliminated in the 1st round of a Grand Slam in her 10th appearance in a major draw.

Gauff – Wang: Highlights

Expeditious Krejcikova

For her part, Barbora Krejcikova did not miss her entry into the running. Quite the contrary: the 2021 Roland-Garros champion was expeditious against Andrea Petkovic, liquidated 6-2, 6-0 in 1h07. The Czech, beaten on the wire in the final of the Sydney tournament on Saturday by Paula Badosa, thus confirms her excellent state of form while avoiding the classic pitfall of the sequence with a Grand Slam, never easy physically and mentally. This is a perfectly avoided trap.

Kenin falls from the start and will lose big

She still benefited from the points of her title obtained in 2020 in Melbourne. But Sofia Kenin, seeded 11 at this Australian Open, will have lost them all in a fortnight and will experience a dizzying drop in the rankings to around 90th place in the world. Because the American was eliminated in the first round by her compatriot Madison Keys in two tight sets (7-6, 7-5). The latter is in good shape at the start of the season since she remains on a title in Adelaide.

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