Day 1 in Melbourne saw the form book dictate by and large, with a smattering of shocks and some tasty battles already. The sad news that Nick Kyrgios will not be playing after all did ultimately remain the story of the day unfortunately. At least we all now know what a tear in the lateral meniscus is.
On court it was a day where the favourites and the seeds in general flexed their muscle; Medvedev, Swiatek, Pegula and Auger-Aliasime all looked imperious in their victories. But wins too for the majority of the contenders and semi-serious challengers: Sinner, Keys, Tiafoe, Tsitsipas, Sakkari, Collins, Norrie, Shapovalov, Gauff and Ostapenko are all worthy of title-talk here.
Victories too for the more sentimental favourites; Kvitova, Raducanu and Azarenka.
As for Rafa? Well there was a major blip in that 2nd set against young Jack Draper. Not a very compelling start.
But big names still exited including former champ and firmly now in ‘enjoy him whilst you still can’ territory Wawrinka, a shockingly early dismissal of one of my tournament predictions too in Anisimova who is also no more in Melbourne. The likeable Musetti is also out.
Day 2 Matches to Catch
Murray vs Berrettini [POTENTIAL UPSET]
Rublev vs Thiem [QUALITY]
Muguruza vs Mertens [QUALITY]
Fernandez vs Cornet [ENTERTAINMENT]
Kokkinakis vs Fognini [FIREWORKS]