Nicole LaDuca

2021 Miami Open: Hurkacz wins first Masters 1000

MIAMIHubert Hurkacz (POL) won his first Masters 1000 title with a straight-set victory over [21] Jannik Sinner.

Hurkacz defeated four top-20 players to reach the finals, including back-to-back wins over top-10 opponents. His victory over Sinner would mark his 5th-straight upset, which was even more impressive considering he had lost 5 of his previous 7 matches entering the tournament.

Both players were 2-0 in finals entering the biggest match of their careers so far. Hurkacz stormed out to a 3-0 victory, but Sinner started settling down and leveled the match at three games apiece.

Battling windy conditions, Hurkacz needed to break Sinner back to push the first set to a tiebreaker and played a nearly flawless to move one set away from the title.

Hurkacz carried some momentum into the second set, racing out to a 4-0 lead. However, Sinner, who was the first teenager in a Masters 1000 final since Rafael Nadal in 2005, won the next three games to close the gap and put the pressure back on Hurkacz.

The No. 1-ranked Polish player was able to put his nerves aside and hold serve twice to close out the match 7-6, 6-4.

Hurkacz will break into the top-20 for the first time in his career at No. 16 on Monday.

Fast Facts

  • Hurkacz, who trains in Florida, remains unbeaten in the state with a 10-0 record in 2021 after winning the Delray Beach Open earlier in the year
  • Hurkacz is the first ever Polish man to win a singles Masters 1000 title
  • Hurkacz is the first player to win 2 ATP titles this year
  • Hurakcz is 6-0 in set tiebreakers this year

Road to the Title

Round of 64: def. Denis Kudla, 7-6, 6-4
Round of 32: def. [6] Denis Shapovalov, 6-3, 7-6
Round of 16: def. [12] Milos Raonic, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6
Quarterfinals: def. [2] Stefanos Tsitsipas, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
Semifinals: def. [4] Andrey Rublev, 6-3, 6-4
Finals: def. [21] Jannik Sinner, 7-6, 6-4

Hubi’s Gear

Racquet: VCORE PRO
Apparel: 75th Elite Collection
Footwear: ECLIPSION 3
Bag: 75th Racquet Bag

2021 Australian Open: Naomi Osaka is champion, wins her 4th Grand Slam title

MELBOURNE, Australia – Naomi Osaka (JPN) is the 2021 Australian Open champion, defeating American Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-3 in the finals.

Osaka has won 4 of the past 6 hard court majors, which gives her the 3rd most Grand Slam titles of all active players behind Serena and Venus Williams.

Road to the Finals

R1 def. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-1, 6-2
Naomi began her title run with a straight-set victory in just 68 minutes. This would extend her winning streak to 15, which was a career best. (She previously won 14-straight from September 18, 2019 to January 11, 2020.)

R2 def. Caroline Garcia, 6-2, 6-3
In their first career meeting, Naomi was a serving machine, missing just 4 first serves, firing off 10 aces, and never facing a break point.

R3 def. [27] Ons Jabeur, 6-3, 6-2
The first test of the tournament came against Jabeur. Naomi needed to save three break points in her first two service games that combined for 18 minutes. After getting past the early trouble, Naomi cruised.

R4 def. [14] Garbiñe Muguruza, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
In arguably the most exciting match of the tournament, Naomi faced two match points down 3-5, 15-40 in the third set. Osaka erased the first with her 10th ace of the match, saved the next with a forced forehand error, and closed out the game with another ace. She won 12 of the final 16 points to escape.

Quarterfinals def. Su-Wei Hsieh, 6-2, 6-2
Once reaching the quarterfinals of a slam, Naomi has never lost, and this tournament would be no different. Facing the No. 1 ranked doubles player in the world and one of the few players who has beaten Naomi after she won the first set, Naomi controlled the match from the beginning to set up a semifinal showdown with Serena Williams.

Semifinals def. [10] Serena Williams, 6-3, 6-4
Fans were welcomed back into Melbourne Park after a snap, five-day quarantine period in Victoria for a re-match of the 2018 US Open final. Struggling with her serve in the early stages, Naomi had to stay steady, fighting off Serena’s power.

After getting an early break back to level the match at 2-2, Naomi won 10 of the next 13 games to lead 6-3, 4-2. She eventually closed out the match four games later to advance to the finals, ending Serena’s streak of winning the title once reaching the Australian Open semifinals.

Finals def. [22] Jennifer Brady, 6-4, 6-3
This year’s final would be a rematch of the 2020 US Open semifinal, where Osaka won in three sets. Brady, like Osaka, has been nearly unbeaten on hard courts, winning 11 of her last 12 hard court matches at majors entering the final.

Osaka fired two aces and a service winner in her opening service game to set the tone.

From 4-4 in the first, Osaka locked in and reeled off the next six games to take a set and 4-0 lead in the second. After dropping the first two points in the 4-4 game, Osaka did not commit an unforced error in that six-game span.

Despite having a chance to go up 5-0, Osaka dropped the next two games. However, the former champion showed her mental resilience to push the nerves aside and close out the match three games later with a 6-4, 6-3 victory.

Naomi Osaka, the 2021 Australian Open Champion.

Quote of the Tournament
“People don’t remember the runner up. The winner’s name is what’s engraved.”

Fast Facts

  • Current win streak: 21
  • Naomi’s half of the draw included nine former Grand Slam champions, arguably one of the toughest draws to date
  • Naomi currently has the 3rd most Grand Slam titles of all active players behind Serena and Venus Williams
  • She became the 6th Australian Open champion to win the title after being down a match point.
  • Naomi led the tournament in aces and had 61 more winners than her opponents combined
  • Naomi has not lost a final in over two years

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
Women
[3] Naomi Osaka (JPN) | EZONE / POLYTOUR STRIKE def. [22] Jennifer Brady, 6-4, 6-3

2021 Australian Open: de Groot, Davidson are 2021 Champions

MELBOURNE, Australia – World No. 1 Diede de Groot (NED) has a stronghold atop the women’s wheelchair division and won her 9th singles and 9th doubles title in Melbourne.

A day later in singles, de Groot faced defending Australian Open champion [2] Yui Kamiji in the finals, an opponent she knows well. De Groot and Kamiji were responsible for all three of last year’s major titles.

De Groot seemed to be cruising to her third Australian Open title when she was up a set and a break, but Kamiji battled back to take the lead and eventually the set.

A 10-point match tiebreaker would decide the outcome of the pair’s 34th meeting. De Groot jumped out to an early lead and never looked back to claim the championship, 6-3, 6-7, 10-4.

De Groot’s singles title came a day after she lifted the doubles trophy with countrywoman Aniek Van Koot.

In quad wheelchair men’s doubles, Heath Davidson (AUS) won his 4th-straight Australian Open doubles title with his compatriot Dylan Alcott. The pair battled Andy Lapthorne and David Wagner in an 81-minute match, where a 10-point match tiebreaker also determined the champion.

At 4-4 in the decider, Alcott and Davidson combined for back-to-back forehand winners to help them pull away en route to a 6-2, 3-6, 10-7 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
Diede de Groot (NED) | VCORE / REXIS75th Anniversary Collection
Heath Davidson (AUS) | EZONE / POLTOUR PRO / 75th Anniversary Collection

2021 Australian Open: Naomi Osaka defeats Serena Williams for a spot in the finals

MELBOURNE, Australia – Down 0-2, 30-40, [3] Naomi Osaka (JPN) was quickly facing an uphill battle in the semifinals against 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.

Osaka crawled her way out to avoid a two-break deficit but was still struggling to find her groove. She quickly went down 40-15 in the next game but an 89 mph forehand, followed by a swing volley, finally put pressure on Williams. Four points later, she evened the match at two games apiece.

The momentum started to swing. Although Osaka recorded her worst serving statistics of the tournament, making just 36% of her first serves with three double faults, she found a way to hold on after getting broken in the opening game.

Osaka, who frequently mentions how Williams was her childhood idol, admitted to having nerves to start the match. She finally settled down after getting her second break of the match to go up 4-2.

From 2-2 in the first set, Osaka won 10 of the next 13 games to lead 6-3, 4-2. However, Williams then won the next two games to level the second set.

Osaka was seemingly unfazed by the pressure of the moment. She won the final eight points of the match behind 3 winners and an ace to advance with a 6-3, 6-4 victory.

Osaka will play for her 4th-career Grand Slam title on Saturday in Melbourne.

Fast Facts

  • Osaka has won 20-straight matches, including 13-straight major wins
  • Williams won the title in Australia the 8 previous times she reached the semifinals. That streak ended today.
  • Osaka hit 8 more winners and 3 more aces than Williams
  • Osaka’s head-to-head with Williams moves to 3-1

From the Stringing Room
Naomi uses POLYTOUR STRIKE string and strings the mains at 53 lbs. and crosses at 56 lbs.

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
Women
[3] Naomi Osaka (JPN) | EZONE / POLYTOUR STRIKE def. [10] Serena Williams, 6-3, 6-4

2021 Australian Open: Osaka sails into the semifinals

MELBOURNE, Australia – [3] Naomi Osaka (JPN) cruised in the first quarterfinal matchup of the tournament with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Su-Wei Hsieh.

Osaka immediately went down a break point in the opening game but saved it with an ace, her first of 7. She then broke Hsieh in a 7-minute game to go up 3-1 and never looked back.

After winning the first set 6-2, the World No. 3 was on cruise control against a notably tricky opponent who has a wide variety of shots with her two-handed backhand and forehand.

Controlling the majority of rallies, it took only 10 minutes for Osaka to go up 3-0 in the second set. Just like she did in the first, Osaka broke Hsieh to wrap up the set and match, earning a 6-2, 6-2 victory.

Osaka remains unbeaten when she reaches the quarterfinals at a major, moving to 10-0 with her victory on Tuesday. On Thursday, she will play the winner of [10] Serena Williams and [2] Simona Halep for a spot in the finals.

Fast Facts

  • 3 of the 4 previous meetings between Osaka and Hsieh went three sets
  • Hsieh is currently the No. 1 ranked doubles player in the world

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
Women
Jessica Pegula (USA) | EZONE vs. [22] Jennifer Brady
[3] Naomi Osaka (JPN) | EZONE / POLYTOUR STRIKE def. Su-Wei Hsieh, 6-2, 6-2

2021 Australian Open: Pegula advances to her first career quarterfinal

MELBOURNE, Australia – American Jessica Pegula stunned World No. 5 Elina Svitolina in three sets to advance to her first career Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Unseeded in just her 9th major appearance, Pegula has won more matches this tournament than in her previous 8 slams combined. The Buffalo, NY native never faced a break point in the first set and only needed one break of serve to take a one-set-to-love lead.

Pegula seemed to be on cruise control, breaking Svitolina to begin the second. However, Svitolina was not going away without a fight. The 5th seed immediately broke back and won three of the next four games to take a 4-1 lead. Pegula was unable to claw back, pushing the match into a third set to decide the first quarterfinalist of the day.

Pegula, who controlled the majority of the points with her power from the baseline, broke Svitolina in the fourth game of the final set with a backhand winner to go up 3-1. She held for a 4-1 lead but ended up losing her next service game to get the match back on serve.

However, Pegula stuck to her game plan and stayed aggressive to create her first match point at 5-3. Running Svitolina from side to side, Pegula eventually forced her into an error to advance with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory.

Fast Facts

  • This was Pegula’s first win over a top-10 opponent
  • Pegula faces fellow American Jennifer Brady for a spot in the quarterfinals; the duo has only played once before with Pegula winning in straight sets at the Western & Southern Open last September

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
Women
Jessica Pegula (USA) | EZONE def. [5] Elina Svitolina, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
[3] Naomi Osaka (JPN) | EZONE / POLYTOUR STRIKE def. Garbiñe Muguruza, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5

2021 Australian Open: Naomi Osaka escapes, eyes the quarterfinals

MELBOURNE, Australia – In a round of 16 match that could have easily been a Grand Slam final between two major champions, [3] Naomi Osaka (JPN) prevailed over [14] Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) in a 2-hour, 3-set match.

“Today I probably hit a lot of unforced errors, but I think it was something I needed to do,” said Osaka after the match. “I couldn’t really give her any short balls because she would finish (the point).”

The post-match analysis was right. Osaka hit 36 unforced errors but also fired off 40 winners, 16 more than Muguruza.

In the first set, the pair traded an unusual five breaks, with Muguruza winning the final three games of the set to take the lead.

In the second set, Osaka went down 2-0, a somewhat familiar position as her 2020 US Open final.

The 2019 AO champion eventually won the next three games to take the lead, dropping just four points. Neither player faced a breakpoint until 4-5 when Osaka jumped out to an early lead in Muguruza’s service game. On her third set point, Osaka forced Muguruza into a backhand error to push the match to a decider.

Muguruza quickly led the third set 3-5 and created two match point opportunities at 15-40.

Osaka erased the first match point with her 10th ace, saved the next with a forced forehand error, and closed out the game with another ace.

Surviving that game swung the momentum back in Osaka’s favor. The World No. 3 won 12 of the final 16 points to escape with a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory to advance to the quarterfinals in Melbourne for the second time in her career.

Fast Facts

  • Osaka averaged 10 mph more on her forehand speed compared to Muguruza
  • After saving two match points, Osaka hit 7 winners in the final 22 points of the match
  • This marks Osaka's 50th win in a major
  • Osaka will face Su-Wei Hsieh in the quarterfinals; she leads the head-to-head match-up 3-1
  • Osaka's 3-set record in slams moves to 18-3 and 13-0 since 2018
  • Osaka has won the title each time she has reached the quarterfinals of a slam
  • Osaka's winning streak extends to 18, with 11-straight at Grand Slams

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
[24] Casper Ruud (NOR) | EZONE / POLYTOUR SPIN, PRO / 75th Anniversary Collection / ECLIPSION 3 vs. [7] Andrey Rublev

Women
[28] Donna Vekic (CRO) | VCORE / POLYTOUR REV vs. [22] Jennifer Brady
Jessica Pegula (USA) | EZONE vs. [5] Elina Svitolina 
[3] Naomi Osaka (JPN) | EZONE / POLYTOUR STRIKE def. Garbiñe Muguruza, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5

2021 Australian Open: Osaka leads Team Yonex into the second week

MELBOURNE, Australia – Four players from Team Yonex recorded a ‘first’ and Naomi Osaka won her 17th-straight match at the halfway point of the Australian Open.

Most Interesting Match
[28] Donna Vekic (CRO) rallied back from a set and 0-3 down and saved a match point to squeak out a 2-hour, 36-minute third round victory.

Vekic finally built momentum after saving the match point with a forehand winner. She won 11 of the last 13 points to close out the second set in a tiebreaker, finally testing Kaia Kanepi, who took out defending champion Sofia Kenin in the second round.

Vekic broke Kanepi in the third game of the final set and never trailed again, securing a 5-7, 7-6, 6-4 win to advance to the second week in Melbourne for the first time in her career.

Too Tough
Tournament favorite [3] Naomi Osaka (JPN) was tested for the first time this tournament. Facing a crafty Ons Jabeur, Osaka needed to save three break points in her first two service games that combined for 18 minutes.

Staying tough while fighting off Jabeur’s best, Osaka started to build some momentum with a break to go up 4-2 and eventually closed out the first set. The 2019 champion got off to a much smoother start to begin the second and very rarely felt any pressure on serve to advance with a routine 6-3, 6-2 win.

Osaka faces another former major champion in [14] Garbiñe Muguruza. It will be the pair’s first career match up.

Fast Facts

  • Since reaching the finals of Roland-Garros in 2019, [19] Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) went 1-5 in Grand Slam appearances, struggling with a wrist injury that resulted in surgery. Now, the 21-year-old is back in the second week of a major for the third time in her young career.
  • Osaka leads the tournament in aces with 20.
  • Casper Ruud (NOR) became the second Norwegian player to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam. The other? His father, Christian.
  • Jessica Pegula (USA) lost the first six points of the match but was simply stunning after the slow start, hitting 21 winners to cruise, 6-2, 6-1. It’s her first-ever second week appearance at a major.
  • After defeating two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka in the first round, Pegula (USA) has spent less than two hours on court, cruising into final 16 for the first time in her career.
  • Pegula is one of three unseeded players remaining on the women’s side.

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
[24] Casper Ruud (NOR) | EZONE / POLYTOUR SPIN, PRO / 75th Anniversary Collection / ECLIPSION 3 def. Radu Albot (MDA) 6-1, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4

Women
[28] Donna Vekic (CRO) | VCORE / POLYTOUR REV def. Kaia Kanepi, 5-7, 7-6, 6-4
Jessica Pegula (USA) | EZONE def. Kristina Mladenovic, 6-2, 6-1
[19] Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) | EZONE / POLYTOUR AIR def. Sorana Cirstea, 6-2, 6-4
[3] Naomi Osaka (JPN) | EZONE / POLYTOUR STRIKE def. Ons Jabeur, 6-3, 6-2

2021 Australian Open: Kyrgios delights the home crowd, Osaka cruises again, and Team Yonex is onto R3

MELBOURNE, Australia – As matches heat up Down Under, the roars of the crowds are back heading into the middle weekend of the fortnight. Eight players from Team Yonex have recorded their best performance at the Australian Open, reaching the third round for the first time in their career.

Most Entertaining Match
Australia’s own Nick Kyrgios was down two match points in the fourth set against [29] Ugo Humbert (FRA) but extended the match to a decider and eventually prevailed in what he called “one of the craziest matches I have ever played.”

One set away from victory, Humbert broke Kyrgios to begin the fourth set and had the opportunity to serve out the match at 5-4. However, at the 2-hour, 30-minute mark in the match, Kyrgios forced a backhand error out of the Frenchman and eventually unleashed a backhand passing shot to save two match points.

Kyrgios, who had the benefit of a raucous crowd in his favor, rode out an early break in the fifth to escape with a 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory. Kyrgios extended his five-set record to 8-2, with half of those victories coming at his home slam.

Smooth Sailing
[3] Naomi Osaka (JPN) advanced with another straight-set victory in the bottom half of the draw that includes nine former Grand Slam champions. Her second-round victory is her 9th-straight slam win and 16th-straight overall.

A straight-set victory was a welcomed feeling for [11] Denis Shapovalov who was coming off a 5-set match in the first round. Shapovalov controlled the court behind 37 winners and 16 aces to advance in under two hours.

Fast Facts

  • [19] Marketa Vondrousova (CZE), [28] Donna Vekic (CRO), Fiona Ferro (FRA), Jessica Pegula (USA), Kaja Juvan (SLO), Casper Ruud (NOR), Radu Albot (MDA), and Lloyd Harris (RSA) all reached the third round at the Australian Open for the first time in their career.
  • Pegula recorded the quickest second round victory, winning in just 50 minutes, 6-0, 6-1 over former Grand Slam champion Samantha Stosur.
  • Marton Fucsovics (HUN), who turned 29 on Monday, has celebrated with two-straight five-set victories, with his second-round win coming over [17] Stan Wawrinka.
  • Along with Fucsovics, Sorana Cirstea (ROU) also took down another former Australian Open champion, with a three-set victory over [9] Petra Kvitova.
  • Juvan saved an astounding 16/19 break points in her come-from-behind victory
  • Albot, Harris, Kyrgios, Ruud, and Vondrousova are still competing in both the singles and doubles events.

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
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) | EZONE / POLTOUR PRO def. [17] Stan Wawrinka (SUI), 7-5, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 7-6 
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) | EZONE / POLTOUR PRO def. [29] Ugo Humbert, 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4
[11] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) | VCORE / POLYTOUR STRIKE def. Bernard Tomic, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2
[24] Casper Ruud (NOR) | EZONE / POLYTOUR SPIN, PRO / 75th Anniversary Collection / ECLIPSION 3 def. Tommy Paul, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 7-5
Radu Albot (MDA) | VCORE / POLYTOUR STRIKE / 75th Anniversary Collection / ECLIPSION 3 def. Christopher O'Connell, 6-2, 7-5, 7-6
Lloyd Harris (RSA) | EZONE / POLTOUR PRO def. Alexei Popyrin, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3

Women
[11] Belinda Bencic (SUI) | EZONE / POLTOUR PRO def. Svetlana Kuznetsova, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4
[28] Donna Vekic (CRO) | VCORE / POLYTOUR REV def. Nadia Podoroska, 6-2, 6-2
Kaja Juvan (SLO) | EZONE / POLYTOUR SPIN, PRO def. Mayar Sherif, 3-6, 7-6, 6-3
Jessica Pegula (USA) | EZONE def. Samantha Stosur, 6-0, 6-1 
[19] Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) | EZONE / POLYTOUR AIR def. Rebecca Marino, 6-1, 7-5
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) | EZONE def. [9] Petra Kvitova, 6-4, 1-6, 6-1
[3] Naomi Osaka (JPN) | EZONE / POLYTOUR STRIKE def. Caroline Garcia, 6-2, 6-3
Fiona Ferro (FRA) | VCORE def. Katerina Siniakova, 6-7, 6-2, 6-4 def. [17] Elena Rybakina, 6-4, 6-4

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

2021 Australian Open: Despite all odds, Grand Slam tennis returns with fans in Australia

MELBOURNE, Australia – The 2021 Australian Open begins on Monday in Melbourne with over 50 players competing with Yonex racquets in the main draw of singles.

Leaders from Team Yonex
World No. 3 Naomi Osaka (JPN) and World No. 12 Denis Shapovalov (CAN) lead Team Yonex on the women’s and men’s side.

Osaka, the 2019 champion, enters the first major of the year on a 14-match winning streak, which includes her title run at the 2020 US Open.

Shapovalov, who is the youngest player in the top-20, continues to be one of the most exciting, rising stars on tour. The young Canadian faces 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals Champion Jannik Sinner in the first round.

Former Champions Going for #2
Along with Osaka, Stan Wawrinka (SUI) and Angelique Kerber (GER) will be seeking their second Australian Open title at Melbourne Park.

Former World No. 3 Wawrinka, who won his first major in 2014, has been a steady top-20 opponent since working his way back from injury in 2017.

After being restricted in a “hard quarantine” for 14 days, Kerber faces a new challenge in her 52nd Grand Slam appearance. The 3-time major champion will rely on her experience when she begins play on Monday.

New Look on Court
The 75th Anniversary Collection debuted during the Melbourne Summer Series. The modernized, vintage collection includes apparel, bags, footwear, and accessories connecting a sense of nostalgia from the 1980’s with innovative technologies and materials.

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
[17] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) | VCORE PRO75th Anniversary Collection / ECLIPSION 2
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) | EZONEPOLTOUR PRO
Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) | VCORE / POLYTOUR SPIN75th Anniversary Collection / FUSIONREV 4
Alexander Bublik (KAZ) | EZONEPOLTOUR PRO
Kamil Majchrzak (POL) | VCOREPOLTOUR PRO
Marcos Giron (USA) | VCORE
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) | EZONEPOLTOUR PRO
[11] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) | VCORE / POLYTOUR STRIKE
[24] Casper Ruud (NOR) | EZONE / POLYTOUR SPIN, PRO75th Anniversary Collection / ECLIPSION 3
Radu Albot (MDA) | VCORE / POLYTOUR STRIKE75th Anniversary Collection / ECLIPSION 3
Lloyd Harris (RSA) | EZONEPOLTOUR PRO
[26] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) | VCORE PRO75th Anniversary Collection / ECLIPSION 3
Ricardas Berankis (LTU) | VCORE PROPOLYTOUR STRIKE / 75th Anniversary CollectionECLIPSION 3
Sumit Nagal (IND) | VCORE
Tomas Machac (CZE) | VCORE SV / POLYTOUR FIRE
Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) | VCORE PRO

Women
Daria Gavrilova (AUS) | EZONEPOLTOUR PRO
Olga Danilovic (SRB) | EZONEPOLYTOUR SPIN, PRO
[11] Belinda Bencic (SUI) | EZONEPOLTOUR PRO
Lin Zhu (CHN) | VCORE / POLYTOUR SPIN 
Whitney Osuigwe (USA) | EZONEPOLTOUR PRO
Ana Bogdan (ROU) | EZONE / POLYTOUR REV
Jasmine Paolini (ITA) | VCORE
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) | EZONEPOLTOUR PRO / 75th Anniversary Collection / ECLIPSION 3
Yafan Wang (CHN) | VCORE
[28] Donna Vekic (CRO) | VCORE / POLYTOUR REV
Aliona Bolsova (ESP) | VCOREPOLYTOUR STRIKE
Arina Rodionova (AUS) | EZONEPOLTOUR PRO
Kaja Juvan (SLO) | EZONEPOLYTOUR SPIN, PRO
Jessica Pegula (USA) | EZONE
Destanee Aiava (AUS) | VCOREPOLYTOUR STRIKE
Nao Hibino (JPN) | VCOREPOLYTOUR REV
Marie Bouzkova (CZE) | VCOREPOLTOUR PRO
[19] Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) | EZONE / POLYTOUR AIR
Rebecca Marino (CAN) | VCOREPOLYTOUR STRIKE
Patricia Maria Tig (ROU) | EZONEPOLYTOUR STRIKE
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) | EZONE
Tamara Zidansek (SLO) | VCOREPOLYTOUR STRIKE
[23] Angelique Kerber (GER) | VCOREPOLYTOUR FIRE
Caroline Garcia (FRA) | VCOREPOLYTOUR STRIKE
[3] Naomi Osaka (JPN) | EZONEPOLYTOUR STRIKE
Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK) | VCORE / POLYTOUR FIRE, PRO
Timea Babos (HUN) | VCORE
Laura Siegemund (GER) | EZONEPOLYTOUR STRIKE
Camila Giorgi (ITA) | VCOREPOLYTOUR STRIKE
Fiona Ferro (FRA) | VCORE
[17] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) | VCOREPOLYTOUR FIRE
Marta Kostyuk (UKR) | EZONEPOLTOUR PRO
Varvara Gracheva (RUS) | VCOREPOLTOUR PRO
Lizette Cabrera (AUS) | EZONEPOLTOUR PRO

Yonex Stringing Team: Precision stringing for the world’s top players

TOKYO – The Yonex Stringing Team is the Official Stringing Team of the Australian Open for the 6th-straight year. Year-after-year the team in Melbourne has set a record for tournament stringing, with nearly 6,000 re-strings coming from the 2020 event alone.

In addition to stringing at the year’s first major, Yonex is also the Official Stringing Team of the Melbourne Summer Series, which includes three ATP events, including the prestigious ATP Cup, and four WTA events.

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.

Yonex Stringing Team Major Tournaments
2008 Beijing Olympics and Paralympics
2012 London Olympics and Paralympics
2012-2019 Toray Pan Pacific Open
2014-2019 Rakuten Japan Open
2016-2021 Australian Open
2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics
2016-2019 Rolex Shanghai Masters
2021 Melbourne Summer Series
2021 ATP Cup