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Australian Open Day 1 Men’s Recap – Federer and Djokovic Kicking it Off Well

Australian Open Day 1 Roger Federer

Just 13 of the 32 planned men’s round 1 matches were completed on Day 1 of the Australian Open, with the rain interrupting eight and postponing the rest. All of them will be finished/played on Tuesday, but let’s focus on what the organizers were able to either fit under the roof or the matches that happened very early in the day.

Australian Open Day 1 Men’s Recap

On the plus side

Roger Federer played an in-form Steve Johnson (the American just captured a Challenger title in Bendigo). But the Swiss’ was easily able to dominate the points with his first-strike tennis and got on top of Johnson from the get-go. Federer’s biggest liability, the backhand, was solid for the most part of the match and even created a couple of breathtaking winners. The Swiss hasn’t played a warm-up event but absolutely no signs of rust were visible in a 6-3 6-2 6-3 victory. Perhaps the biggest indicator of how straightforward it was is the playtime–81 minutes.

After a 23-minute opening set, it seemed like Stefanos Tsitsipas will make Monday the worst day of Salvatore Caruso’s life. Despite winning just nine points in the opening set, the Italian rebuilt a bit, taking a couple of his own service games to extend the match at least a bit. But it was nevertheless a stunning performance from the Greek, who never faced a single break point and won 33/36 points on his first serve.

Who looked bad

One of the most impressive performers of the last couple of weeks, Daniel Evans went down two sets to love to Mackenzie McDonald. It would be have been quite a bit of a surprise, especially with the American playing just his second match since Roland Garros. But the Brit managed to up his level of play and was never really threatened in the next three sets. Still, it’s a pretty worrying sign for Evans, who was expected by many to give Djokovic a very tough time in their potential round three matchup.

25th seed Borna Coric will not leave a lasting impression in Melbourne. The Croat fell on the first hurdle to the always dangerous American Sam Querrey, who blasted 18 aces and was in full control of the match. While Coric wasn’t a huge favorite of this clash, to lose in straight sets and 104 minutes has to be disappointing.

Denis Shapovalov was supposed to be one of the most dangerous dark horse contenders for even winning the whole thing. It seemed like the Canadian couldn’t really have asked for a better draw as Fucsovics had an awful streak of losses and retired early at last week’s Bendigo Challenger. But Shapovalov couldn’t really find his rhythm throughout the little more than three-hour affair and the Hungarian played his best match in quite a while to win 6-3 6-7 6-1 7-6.

Match of the day

Novak Djokovic took down Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 6-2 2-6 6-1. Although there was little drama in the fourth set, it was a brilliant clash to watch. Struff’s fast-paced tennis matched up great with Djokovic’s defense and for a brief moment there, the German was playing so well that a possible upset seemed to be on the cards. Looking only at the result you might that losing a set in the first round might be a bad prognosis for Djokovic’s result in this tournament, but the German was undoubtedly one of the trickiest unseeded opponents to get. The Serbian will be happy to have pulled through this one without losing too much energy.


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