Melbourne, Australia — Naomi Osaka’s first test of her new approach to tennis may have been on the first day of the Novak Djokovic Australian Open, when she completely stirred overhead to give her opponent a break point. Hmm.
Osaka did not throw a racket. She didn’t roll her eyes. She smiled.
“There was a situation that was upset before, but at this point in my life, I want to be here, and I thought it was fun for me, so I’m here,” Osaka said. “You can enjoy it while I can still do it.”
In Osaka’s view, the drama that nine-time champion Djokovic was deported on the eve of the Australian Open was a concern for men’s lottery players. Her title defense started smoothly enough. She won the first five games in the middle of defeating Camilla Osorio 6-3, 6-3.
The return of Osaka and Rafael Nadal cast a shadow over the 11-day story of Djokovic’s attempt to participate in the first Grand Slam tournament of the year.
Osaka didn’t care about that. Nadal also did not appear to have been postponed by it, updating his bid for the record 21st Grand Slam singles title, which defeated Marcos Giron 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. ..
Nadal is associated with Djokovic and Roger Federer, each winning 20 major single titles. This is the most common in the history of men’s tennis. Djokovic does not meet Australia’s strict COVID-19 vaccination standards, so he is unable to defend his crown in Melbourne and the door to Nadal is a bit half-open.
On the other hand, Osaka’s biggest concern is to win the Australian title for the third time in four years.
“Honestly, it didn’t really affect me,” Osaka said of Djokovic’s drama. “My goal is to focus more on myself, even before the whole situation. What I need to do to be better.
“I’m a tennis player. Focus on the match. You, as an audience, focus on everything in the news, right?”
A potential fourth round meeting with top-ranked Ashberty may be waiting. Bertie defeated Lesia Tsurenko 6-0, 6-1 with the aim of becoming the first Australian woman to win the title in Melbourne since 1978.
After winning the title last year, Osaka withdrew from the French Open before the second round and entered Wimbledon. She set the cauldron on fire at the Tokyo Olympics, but ended the 2021 season early after a third round defeat at the US Open and a tears press conference.
Two of her goals in 2022 are to stay completely calm on the court and off and to enjoy the game.
And yes, finally, the focus was on Australian tennis. It started in a big way, with a total of 64 singles matches on the opening day.
French Open Champion Barbora Kletikova, 5 Seeds Maria Sakkari, No. 15 Elina Svitolina, two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, have all moved forward.
2020 Australian Open Champion Sofia Kenin lost to Madison Keys 7-6 (2), 7-5, No. Two young American candidates entered the first round, saving five match points before 18 Coco Gauff lost 6-4, 6-. To the 2nd king.
Olympic champion Belinda Bencic has advanced to the second round against Amanda Anisimova.
Men’s Olympic Champion Alexander Zverev finishes 40 years with a 7-6 (3), 6-1, 7-6 (1) victory over Daniel Altmaier in his first day program at Rod Laver Arena. Play against John Millman. -79 consecutive Grand Slam events of the old Feliciano Lopez in the first round.
No. 14 Denis Shapovalov defeated Laslo Jere 7-6 (3), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (3) following the ATP Cup victory over Canada.
In addition, No. 7 Matteo Berrettini, No. 10 Hubert Hurkacz, No. 16 Christian Garin, No. 17 Gael Monfils, No. 23 Reilly Opelka will advance, and No. 12 Cameron Norrie will be Sebastian Korda. Lost in a straight set.
Nadal won the Australian Open in 2009 and is the only past champion in the men’s bracket after Djokovic withdrew on Sunday. On Monday, top-ranked Serbs landed in Dubai and boarded a plane to Belgrade.
Nadal made his first major appearance on Monday since losing to Djokovic in the French Open semi-finals. He missed Wimbledon due to fatigue, skipped the US Open with his painful left foot, recovered from COVID-19, and then won the title in a tune-up tournament in Melbourne and started in 2022.
“To be honest, it’s a very tough moment and I still have doubts,” Nadal said. “But since I’m here, I can’t be happy to come back to this wonderful stadium. It’s amazing.”
The 35-year-old Spaniard said the absence of Djokovic would affect the tournament.
“On a personal level, yes, I want to see him play here,” Nadal said. “Whether it’s fair that he’s playing here is another argument I don’t want to talk about anymore.”
Djokovic was scheduled to play his final match against Miomir Kecmanovic at Rod Laver. Instead, Salvatore Caruso, who lost in qualifying but became a so-called lucky loser to fill the vacant seats in the second half of the draw, took the court and lost to Kemanovich 6-4, 6-2, 6-1.
Djokovic’s final unsuccessful bid to defend his title included time in two court hearings and detention of an immigrant hotel.
It started when he was given an exemption from strict vaccination rules by two medical panels and Tennis Australia to play in the tournament.
Its exemption based on evidence that he recently recovered from COVID-19 allowed him to participate in the tournament. However, upon arrival, border officials said the tax exemption was invalid and moved to deport him.
Showing evidence of vaccination is a requirement for everyone (players, coaches, fans, etc.) entering Melbourne Park for the tournament.
A security guard with a loud speaker reminded people lined up outside the complex at the beginning of Monday that they had evidence of vaccination ready for testing, saying, “Oh, tickets are also handy. Probably! “
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