If Quentin Halys or Chloé Paquet have already finished their Australian career, Kristina Mladenovic has found a smile on her face …
The Frenchwoman: Kristina Mladenovic
Kristina Mladenovic won a match… It may be a detail for you, but for her it means a lot. The Habs, who have not chained two victories on the circuit for 14 months, took out the Greek Maria Sakkari, seeded No. 20 (6-2, 0-6, 6-3). “It’s a hell of a great victory,” relishes the world n ° 52, who had not beaten a Top 40 player since her feat against world n ° 1 Ashleigh Barty in the final of the 2019 Fed Cup. I’m really happy with my performance, to have held my serve in the important moments, to have remained in the fight in the game. The reference for me is really this third set. I’m savoring for now, taking all the positive things there is to take, including confidence. “
Holder of the title in doubles with his Hungarian girlfriend Timea Babos, “Kiki” preferred to ignore to concentrate on his solo table. With a good shot to play in the second round against the Japanese Ibino (76th).
The star: Rafael Nadal
After having done a round back for ten days, the world No. 2 had a smooth debut on the Rod Laver Arena against Serbian Djere (6-3, 6-4, 6-1). The Spaniard, who had skipped the ATP Cup due to back pain and was playing his first game of the year, did not hesitate to let go. Especially on the back. “Like I said, my back isn’t perfect,” explains the man with the 20 Grand Slams. Chances are it will get better and that’s what I’m here to play and fight for. We’ll see after. For the moment, I do not plan to go beyond the next match… ”
The perf: Alexei Popyrin
The young Australian, 21, was not very well embarked against the experienced David Goffin, seeded No. 13, before winning (3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6), 6-3). The Belgian even seemed to fly towards victory with four match points in the fourth set… Two on his service at 5-4 and two others leading 6-4 in the deciding game. In the last heat, Goffin broke mentally and physically, with cramps in his left leg. “In fact, I did the job until the match points, he says. If I play this match again, I don’t win it ten times, but eleven times… ”
The belly: Victoria Azarenka
A little tour and then go… Finalist of the last US Open and twice titled in Melbourne (2012 and 2013), the world n ° 13 did not last long under the Australian sun. Betrayed largely by her service, the Belarusian, who nevertheless led 5-2 in the first set, lost against the American Pegula (61st). (7-5, 6-4). In his defense, Azarenka is one of 72 players whose preparation has not been ideal. Considered as a contact case after a positive test for Covid-19 in his flight, the ex-no.1 at the WTA had to follow fifteen days of strict isolation.
The number: 15
Daniil Medvedev is no longer arrested. Winner without batting an eyelid of Canadian Pospisil (6-2, 6-2, 6-4), the world No. 4 signed his 15th victory in a row (including 9 top 10 players). Winner of the Masters 1000 in Paris, the Masters in London and the ATP Cup with Russia, Francophile and French-speaking Daniil has not lost since the tournament in Vienna last October.
The sentence: “I try not to hear the comparison with Rafa”
Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, 17, won his first Grand Slam match against Dutchman Van de Zandschulp (6-1, 6-4, 6-4). Many see in the Murcian, coached by ex-world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, Nadal’s successor. Including Toni, the uncle and former coach of the world No. 2 …
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr