Nadal, Barty advance in straight sets at Australia Open
Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts during his first round match against Serbia's Laslo Djere at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. Daniil Medvedev extended his winning streak to 15 matches with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 win over Vasek Pospisil and seventh-seeded Andrey Rublev beat Yannick Hanfmann 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. 9 Matteo Berrettini defeated Kevin Anderson, a two-time finalist at majors, 7-6 (9), 7-5, 6-3. Barty lost to Sofia Kenin in the Australian Open semifinals last year and then skipped the U.S. Open and her title defense at the French Open because she stayed in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. AdTwo-time Australian Open quarterfinalist Tennys Sandgren also went through the hard lockdown.
Serena Williams, Osaka drawn in same half at Australian Open
3 Naomi Osaka, the U.S. Open champion. Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, Johanna Konta and Elina Svitolina are also in Kenin's quarter. Williams already has won seven Australian Open titles and her 23 major titles is a record in the Open era. In the top half, Djokovic’s bid for a third consecutive Australian title — and ninth overall — could get tricky. Djokovic and Zverev were playing against each other in an ATP Cup doubles match when the draw was made for the Australian Open.
Serena Williams through easily in Australian Open tuneup
United States' Serena Williams makes a backhand return to Australia's Daria Gavrilova during a tuneup tournament ahead of the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)MELBOURNE – Serena Williams found a silver lining in the delayed start to the Australian Open, the season-opening Grand Slam tournament that is starting three weeks later than usual because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Williams is playing in the Yarra Valley Classic, along with top-ranked Ash Barty and defending Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin. “So I definitely was pushing the limits, but I’m here.”Williams has been stalled on 23 major singles titles since the 2017 Australian Open, when she was two months pregnant with now-3-year-old daughter Olympia. AdFrances Tiafoe, an Australian Open quarterfinalist in 2019, lost to Corentin Moutet 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.