Australian Open 2015 Day 1: Shock and awe as the stars and seeds swagger, stumble and swelter

Gone are the days where I can stay up all night and soak up the atmosphere of the Australian Open fortnight, for the past 13 years it has been tradition for me to ignore the urges of sleep and devote myself to a tournament which always delivers.

Catching up with first day highlights then, and I’m already rueing the confines of a career and a company worth trying for.

This section of both draws seems to enjoy the spoils, stars and household names with Murray, Nadal, Federer, Bouchard, Halep, Sharapova, Berdych, Dimitrov and Ivanovic all in action.

All of the above were victorious but one – and the much fancied, nay credible favourite Ivanovic was one of a glut of seeded women to depart in an opening day massacre.

Bencic, Pavluychenkova, Lisicki, Kuznetsova, Suarez Navarro, Kerber and Safarova are all out already, and these seeds would be joined by such other household regulars as Alison Riske and Elena Vesnina.

Crazy stuff, but amidst the shocks, there were good news stories too with heartening victories for recent strugglers turned giant-killers Goerges, Vinci, Shvedova and (most emphatically) Errani.

What the men lacked in shocks (only Gulbis’ epic five set defeat at the hands of young teen Kokkinakis raised any unibrow) they made up for in sparkle, sheen and the odd five-setter.

Rafa can be very satisfied with a businesslike despatch of the dangerous Youzhny, likewise Andy Murray looks back on the road to reigning, albeit slowly and Federer looked comfortable, even in a yellow that just doesn’t suit the serene Swiss.

Elsewhere, Gasquet, Dimitrov, Kohlschreiber and Berdych all look strong whilst Chardy and Rosol survived significant scares.

Day 1 heroes


Day 2 pick – Sloane Stephens vs Victoria Azarenka
I called this out when first leafing through the drawsheets – two players who are top calibre but find themselves lurking in the great unseeded masses, should be a cracker of a first rounder.

Day 1 Seed casualties

Ernests Gulbis (def by Kokkinakis)
Tommy Robredo (ret vs Roger-Vasselin)
Ana Ivanovic (def by Hradecka)
Angelique Kerber (def by Begu)
Lucie Safarova (def by Shvedova)
Carla Suarez-Navarro (def by Witthoeft)
Anastasia Pavluychenkova (def by Wickmayer)
Sveta Kuznetsova (def by Garcia)
Sabine Lisicki (def by Mladenovic)
Belinda Bencic (def by Goerges)


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