It was business as usual for the top seeds at the ongoing premier slam of the year in Melbourne at the end of play yesterday. The top half played their second round matches yesterday and most went through in straight sets.
Gael Monfils lost just five games to down Bublik to advance to round three, while third seed, Alexander Zverev, delivered a bagel to Australia’s John Millman to advance to the third round.
Russia’s Karen Khachanov was clinical as well in his match, winning in straight sets and booking his place in the third round. Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic was the only surprising result yesterday, falling in straight sets to Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz-Garcia.
In the absence of the world’s best player and defending champion, Novak Djokovic, there is a bit of hope for Spain’s Rafael Nadal, who is one of the favourites to lift the trophy he has won just once, over a decade ago.
With Djokovic being so dominant at Melbourne over the years, winning the title nine times, the field has been thrown wide open, giving hope to other contenders.
Nadal booked his place in the third round with a straight sets victory over Germany’s Hanfmann, while Dennis Shapovalov and America’s Steve Korda escaped by the whiskers in five sets.
Today’s match between world no 2, Daniil Medvedev and Australia’s Nicholas Kyrgios promises to be a blockbuster with observers torn as to who would win.
While Kyrgios is a talented player, Medvedev is in excellent form and matches big hitters well. The match would decide if Djokovic keeps his no 1 ranking or not. Kyrgios owns a 2-0 head-to-head record against Medvedev but the last time they met was in 2019.
Women’s defending champion, Naomi Osaka, who is looking in fine form, booked her place in round three in straight sets over America’s Madison Brengle. Last year’s French Open winner, Barbora Krejcikova, Jelena Ostapenko, Madison Keys, Ash Barty, Paula Badosa, Viktoria Azarenka, Camilla Giorgi and Elina Svitolina also booked their places in round three.