On what is apparently the 2022 edition of ‘Blue Monday’ I was feeling none of it, yes the first major of the year has begun, bringing with it the sun and (almost) all of the stars playing the sport of kings. A day of intriguing encounters, some feel-good performances and yes some obligatory shocks of note.
Good news first, and how good it was to see the likes of Osaka, Nadal, Anisimova and Monfils back on court and enjoying themselves [all in fairly routine wins] after their own respective struggles this past year or so.
Routine wins too for the contenders and household names against tricky opponents: Barty breezed past Tsurenko, Badosa dismissed homegrown fave Tomljanovic and Krejcikova overcame the evergreen Andrea Petkovic. On the men’s side it was plain-ish sailing for Zverev, Berettini and Shapovalov, the last two prevailing in gutsy displays.
The shocks were headlined by 2020 champ Sofia Kenin’s exit at the hands of a resurgent Madison Keys in two tight sets. But whereas Kenin’s defeat can be explained by the quality of her opponent, trying to solve the riddles of early exits of Cam Norrie, Fabio Fognini and Coco Gauff is a bigger task. Sadly, the likeable Thanasi Kokkinakis couldn’t build on his first title in hometown Adelaide last week and was dumped out in straight sets.
Elsewhere we had wins for Ostapenko, Azarenka, Hurkacz and Carreno-Busta but have to bid farewell to a trio of the old guard in Querrey, Anderson and Deliciano Lopez.
Day 2 Picks (There’s a lot!)
Swiatek vs Dart
Musetti vs de Minaur
Stephens vs Raducanu
Kvitova vs Cirstea
Basilashvili vs Murray
Broady vs Kyrgios
Kerber vs Kanepi
Mertens vs Zvonareva
Cressy [Serve and Volley lives on!] vs Isner
Humbert vs Gasquet
Evans vs Goffin