2021 Australian Open: Shapovalov shines; Osaka, Wawrinka, Kyrgios cruise, lead Team Yonex in R1

MELBOURNE, Australia – There were many unknowns going into the opening round of the 2021 Australian Open with a 14-day quarantine period leading up to the event. However, some of the biggest stars in tennis showed no signs of rust, advancing to the second round.

Most Interesting Match
[11] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) had one of the most difficult first round matches in the tournament. The 11th-seed was up against Jannik Sinner, who was on a 10-match winning streak and coming off a title run at one of the Melbourne Summer Series events.

After losing the first set, Shapovalov faced a flurry of break points in a nine-minute opening game to begin the second but held on. The Canadian built some momentum, eventually scoring his first break to level the match at a set a piece.

The pair split the next two sets as the clock ticked midnight local time. To open the deciding set, Shapovalov created an immediate break point opportunity and converted. His fifth break of the match proved to be the difference maker, as he went on to hold and eventually score a five-set victory, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

Straight Sets Sweep
[3] Naomi Osaka (JPN), one of the tournament’s favorites, made quick work of her opponent, needing just over an hour to advance. Osaka’s first serve percentage was an impressive 81%.

Stan Wawrinka (SUI) began his quest for a 2nd Australian Open title with a straight-set victory. The 2014 champion never faced a break point, winning 88% of his first serve points, to advance, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

After taking nearly a year off from tournament competition due to the global pandemic, Nick Kyrgios (AUS) returned to his home Slam, putting on an entertaining performance for those fans in attendance. Underhand serves, between-the-leg shots, flashy drop shots, and a magnitude of aces and winners were on display in his 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory.

Fast Facts

  • Playing as the aggressor the majority of the match, Shapovalov recorded 62 winners, more than double Sinner’s 26.
  • Osaka’s win streak extends to 15, including 8 straight at majors.
  • Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino (CAN), who came out of retirement in 2018, won her first Grand Slam match in 10 years.
  • Marton Fucsovics (HUN) recorded the longest opening round, winning in 4 hours, 12 minutes.
  • Jessica Pegula (USA) scored the biggest upset of the first round on the women’s side, taking out 12th-seeded and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, the highest seed to fall so far.
  • Along with Pegula, Radu Albot (MDA) (def. [12] Roberto Bautista Agut), Olga Danilovic (SRB) (def. [16] Petra Martic), Kaja Juvan (SLO) (def. [13] Johanna Konta) also upset seeded players in the first round.
  • 20-year-olds Danilovic and Tomas Machac (CZE) picked up their first career Grand Slam victory

Official Partner of the Australian Open
The Yonex Stringing Team is the Official Stringing Team of the Australian Open for the 6th-straight year. The 2021 team consists of 26 stringers from six countries and is dedicated to providing the world standard of racquet stringing and is supported by the Made-in-Japan PRECISION 9.0 and ProTech 8 Deluxe machines that excel in precision stringing.

Team Yonex
Men
Frances Tiafoe (USA) | VCORE PRO / POLTOUR PRO def. Stefano Travaglia, 7-6, 6-2, 6-2
[17] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) | VCORE PRO / 75th Anniversary Collection / ECLIPSION 2, def. Pedro Sousa, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) | EZONE / POLTOUR PRO def. Marc Polmans, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-7, 6-3
Alexander Bublik (KAZ) | EZONE / POLTOUR PRO def. Aljaz Bedene, 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) | EZONE / POLTOUR PRO def. Frederico Ferreira Silva, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
[11] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) | VCORE / POLYTOUR STRIKE def. Jannik Sinner, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
[24] Casper Ruud (NOR) | EZONE / POLYTOUR SPIN, PRO / 75th Anniversary Collection / ECLIPSION 3 def. Jordan Thompson, 6-3, 6-3, 2-1, ret.
Radu Albot (MDA) | VCORE / POLYTOUR STRIKE / 75th Anniversary Collection / ECLIPSION 3 def. [12] Roberto Bautista Agut, 6-7, 6-0, 6-4, 7-6
Lloyd Harris (RSA) | EZONE / POLTOUR PRO def. Mikael Torpegaard, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
Ricardas Berankis (LTU) | VCORE PRO / POLYTOUR STRIKE / 75th Anniversary Collection / ECLIPSION 3 def. Sumit Nagal, 6-2, 7-5, 6-3
Tomas Machac (CZE) | VCORE SV / POLYTOUR FIRE def. Mario Vilella Martinez, 6-7, 7-5, 6-0, 3-0, ret. 

Women
Daria Gavrilova (AUS) | EZONE / POLTOUR PRO def. Sara Sorribes Tormo, 6-1, 7-5
Olga Danilovic (SRB) | EZONE / POLYTOUR SPIN, PRO def. [16] Petra Martic, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4
[11] Belinda Bencic (SUI) | EZONE / POLTOUR PRO def. Lauren Davis, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1
Lin Zhu (CHN) | VCORE / POLYTOUR SPIN def. Whitney Osuigwe, 6-1, 6-1
[28] Donna Vekic (CRO) | VCORE / POLYTOUR REV def. Yafan Wang, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Kaja Juvan (SLO) | EZONE / POLYTOUR SPIN, PRO def. [13] Johanna Konta, 4-6, 2-0, ret. 
Jessica Pegula (USA) | EZONE def. [12] Victoria Azarenka, 7-5, 6-4
Nao Hibino (JPN) | VCORE / POLYTOUR REV def. Astra Sharma, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5
[19] Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) | EZONE / POLYTOUR AIR def. Rebecca Peterson, 2-6, 7-5, 7-5
Rebecca Marino (CAN) | VCORE / POLYTOUR STRIKE def. Kimberly Birrell, 6-0, 7-6
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) | EZONE def. Patricia Maria Tig, 6-2, 6-1
Caroline Garcia (FRA) | VCORE / POLYTOUR STRIKE def. Polona Hercog, 7-6, 6-3
[3] Naomi Osaka (JPN) | EZONE / POLYTOUR STRIKE def. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-1, 6-2
Timea Babos (HUN) | VCORE def. Ysaline Bonaventure, 7-6, 6-4
Camila Giorgi (ITA) | VCORE / POLYTOUR STRIKE def. Yaroslava Shvedova, 6-3, 6-3
Fiona Ferro (FRA) | VCORE def. Katerina Siniakova, 6-7, 6-2, 6-4
[17] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) | VCORE / POLYTOUR FIRE def. Vera Zvonareva, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
Varvara Gracheva (RUS) | VCORE / POLTOUR PRO def. Anna Blinkova, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6

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