With no rain halting the play this time around, it was one huge day of tennis at the Australian Open with 51 men’s matches taking place. Eight women’s matches had to be rescheduled due to late hour, but the men’s first round is now complete. Who impressed and who flopped on the second day of main draw action?
Australian Open Day 2 Men’s Recap
Marin Cilic, unseeded at a Slam for the first time in six years, had an easier than expected win over Corentin Moutet. The Frenchman had reached the final in Doha two weeks ago and was expected to make it a very close contest. But it was the 2014 US Open champion who took over 80% of points on his own serve and got broken just once in a 6-3 6-2 6-4 win.
Despite winning just one tour-level hard court match before, Hugo Dellien played way better than many expected him to and gave the world no. 1 Rafael Nadal a pretty good fight. The 6-2 6-3 6-0 result does not indicate anything close at all, but let’s just say that the first four games of the match lasted over half an hour. Still, Nadal played very well to overcome the challenge.
Ivo Karlovic, turning 41 in about a month, was absolutely brilliant in his dismissal of Vasek Pospisil. Despite only (for his standards) blasting 14 aces, the Croatian played a very solid match from the baseline. He saved the only break point faced and won 89% (58/65) of points on his first delivery.
Andreas Seppi is once again overperforming in Australia. The Italian always does well Down Under, reaching the fourth round in 4 of the past 7 appearances, peaking in 2015 when he beat Roger Federer in the third round. Seppi took down the up-and-coming Miomir Kecmanovic in a clean straight-set performance.
Felix Auger-Aliassime fell on the first hurdle, losing to Ernests Gulbis in four sets. The Latvian struggled a lot with his break point conversion but managed to stay composed throughout the match to take down the relatively inexperienced youngster. Auger-Aliassime has to feel disappointed given his great performance in Adelaide last week.
Reilly Opelka led Fabio Fognini two sets to love when the rain came on Monday. But on the next day, the match went in a completely different direction. The Italian came out with new-found energy and produced a great comeback to win the match in the deciding tie-breaker.
Match of the day
There isn’t a clear winner, but Andrey Rublev defeating Christopher O’Connell saw two in-form players go at it each other and red-line their game at the same time. Rublev is now on a 13-match winning streak, following back-to-back titles in Adelaide and Doha and four singles wins at the Davis Cup Finals. O’Connell dominated the ITF and Challenger tours in 2019 and basing on his performance here, he can be a dangerous force at the top echelon too. The Australian peaked in set two as his relentless attack was too much for Rublev too handle. But it was the Russian regained control and was the better player on big points in the next two sets, taking the match 6-3 0-6 6-4 7-6.