01/15 03:04 CST The Latest: Wawrinka extends streak at Australian Open
The Latest: Wawrinka extends streak at Australian Open
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) --- The Latest on Tuesday at the Australian Open (all
Stan Wawrinka extended a 14-year streak at the Australian Open with a little
help from Ernests Gulbis' back.
Wawrinka won the Australian Open in 2014 for his first Grand Slam title and has
now reached the second round in each of his appearances at Melbourne Park.
He won his first-round match over Gulbis when the Latvian player had to retire
at 3-6, 3-1 because of a back injury. Gulbis received treatment on his back
earlier in the match.
Wawrinka, now ranked 59th, did not win a title in 2018, with his best result
being a pair of semifinal results. He reached the quarterfinals at Doha ahead
of the Australian Open.
Hey Twitter, Denis Shapovalov has a message for you: he wants his account back.
After the 19-year-old Canadian's 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (3) first-round win over Pablo
Andujar at the Australian Open, he was asked why had "deleted" Twitter, where
he had about 62,000 followers.
"I honestly didn't," Shapovalov quickly interjected. "I'm just having some
issues getting it back up running. There's some issues with my birth date and
stuff. I'm actually just trying to figure that out right now. They don't want
to let me back in. 'Please, Twitter, let me back in.'"
Shapovalov says he thinks the suspension, which began about four months ago,
has "worked out for the better."
"I feel I'm just a little bit less on my social media now with my Twitter
gone," he said. But, "I definitely would love to have that back."
Shapovalov said he's unsure exactly why his account was suspended, but he
thinks it involves his age and that he may have joined the social media
platform when he was too young. He says they now want a letter, possibly from
his parents, verifying his age.
In the meantime, he still has Instagram --- where he has 261,000 followers ---
to play around with.
"It's just been a little bit of a struggle, but hopefully they'll let me back
on soon," he said of his Twitter account. "We'll see."
Venus Williams was one game away from being ousted from the Australian Open's
first round before coming all the way back to eliminate 25th-seeded Mihaela
Buzarnescu 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3), 6-2.
Williams needed more than 2 hours to pull out the victory and avoid what would
have been her fourth opening-round loss in her past six appearances in
This is the first time in five years that Williams is not seeded at a Grand
She is a seven-time major champion and a two-time runner-up in Australia but is
currently ranked only 36th.
Williams trailed by a set and a break at 5-3 in the second when Buzarnescu
served for the match. Williams broke at love there, was better in the second
tiebreaker, then surged ahead quickly in the final set with a break to lead 2-0.
Venus Williams is headed to a third set in her opening match in Melbourne
against 25th-seeded Mihaela Buzarnescu.
Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, dropped the first set in a
tiebreaker 7-6 (3), then took the second by the same score. She broke
Buzarnescu when the Romanian player served for the victory at 5-3 in the second
This is the first time in five years that Williams has been unseeded at a major
tournament. She is currently ranked 36th.
Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka's return to the Australian Open for the
first time since 2016 has ended in a first-round loss to Laura Siegemund.
Azarenka, who won back-to-back Australian Open titles 2012 and '13, lost 6-7
(5), 6-4, 6-2 to the No. 110-ranked Siegemund.
The first set was delicately poised in the tiebreaker when Azarenka took
control, but Siegemund said she "took time out and I reset myself" in the break
and regained control of the match. She broke the 29-year-old Azarenka's serve
seven times, including three times in the last set.
The former No. 1-ranked Azarenka took time out of the game after birth of her
son, Leo, in December 2016 and reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon in 2017 but
did not play any further tournaments in the season after taking time out again
for personal reasons.
After skipping last year's Australian Open, she steadily improved at the majors
after a first-round exit at the French Open, a second-round loss at Wimbledon
and a third-round appearance at the U.S. Open and moved to to No. 53 in the
Tenth-seeded Daria Kasatkina has lost 6-3, 6-0 in the first round of the
Australian Open to Timea Bacsinszky.
Kasatkina, who reached the quarterfinals at the French Open and Wimbledon and
broke into the top 10 last October after winning a title in Moscow, struggled
with her serve and had nine double-faults in the 55-minute defeat.
It was the third consecutive tournament in Australia where Kasatkina lost in
the first round following her early exits at the Brisbane International and the
Fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev broke Aljax Bedene's serve in the seventh game
of the third set and went on to complete a 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 win over the Slovenian
player to reach the second round at Melbourne Park.
Zverev finished last year strongly, winning the ATP Finals with victories over
Roger Federer in the semifinals and Novak Djokovic in the final. At 21, he
became the youngest winner of the event since Djokovic in 2008 and the first
German champion since Boris Becker in 1995.
Zverev, who also won three other tournaments in 2018, hasn't advanced beyond
the third round in three previous trips to the Australian Open.
Serena Williams has her own name for the green one-piece suit she wore in her
first-round win at the Australian Open.
She was asked to describe it, for the sake of any fashion-challenged fans. It's
not a onesie, it's not a leotard, the question went, so what is it?
"It's a Serena-tard," the 23-time major winner said, laughing at her own
description of yet another fashion statement.
What it was, Williams explained, was a show of strength: "An incredibly strong,
powerful statement for moms that are trying to get back and get fit. That was
basically it for me."
The 37-year-old Williams was back at the Australian Open for the first time
since 2017, when she won the title while pregnant. She took time out from the
tour and is now into her fourth Grand Slam tournament since returning.
Williams developed blood clots after giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia
Ohanian Jr. on Sept. 1, 2017, and had four surgeries. She returned to the WTA
Tour last March and played in two events before the French Open, where she
competed in a skin-tight, full-length black catsuit.
She said at the time the outfit --- worn partly for health reasons because of
the clots --- made her feel like a superhero.
Compression stockings have remained part of her ensemble, Williams said, as a
precaution because she still has concerns about deep vein thrombosis.
"I have had some issues, and they're not done. So it's just something I just
have to do for pretty much probably the rest of my career," she said. "With
DVT, it's very scary ... for me it's incredibly frightening."
Eugenie Bouchard advanced to the second round at Melbourne Park with a 6-2, 6-1
win over wild-card entry Peng Shuai.
Peng saved one match point on her serve but a backhand wide gave the Canadian
another, and Bouchard clinched the 59-minute match with a forehand to the open
The 2014 Wimbledon finalist's ranking dropped from a career-high of five to a
current 79 to start 2019 after a series of injuries and poor form.
Bouchard, who also made the Australian Open and French Open semifinals in a
breakthrough 2014, will be severely tested in her second-round match Thursday
when she plays 23-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams.
Kei Nishikori rallied from two sets down and won 10 consecutive games before
Kamil Majchrzak retired with the score at 3-6, 6-7 (6), 6-0, 6-2, 3-0 at
Margaret Court Arena.
Nishikori had a chance to win the second set, up 30-0 on the Polish player's
serve at 5-4. But he let Majchrzak back into the game and when the set went to
a tiebreaker, two unforced errors by Nishikori handed his opponent the set.
Those mistakes riled Nishikori between the second and third sets, obviously
upset with himself as he placed ice cubes in a plastic bag on the back of his
He came out firing to start the third set and his 10-game streak and 15 of the
last 17 before Majchrzak had enough and stopped the match.___
Serena Williams was relentless in her first appearance at Melbourne Park since
winning the title in 2017, losing only five points in the opening set on her
way to a 6-0, 6-2 win over Tatjana Maria in just 49 minutes.
The 23-time major winner didn't defend her title last year while she was taking
time off following the birth of her daughter.
Maria wasn't helped by her woeful serving --- she made only three of 14 first
serves in the opening set.
Williams gave Maria, who also has a daughter, a warm embrace at the end of the
The 16th-seeded Williams will face either Eugenie Bouchard or wild-card entry
Peng Shuai in the second round.
An Australian Open line judge was taken from the court for several minutes
after being hit by a ball during a first-round men's singles match between
Fabio Fognini and Jaume Munar.
After being hit in the lower back by a serve from Munar, the woman was checked
by medical officials and returned to continue officiating on the baseline of
the match at one of Melbourne Park's minor show courts.
After Munar apologized, the match was halted for several minutes. A replacement
official took over briefly before the line judge returned, receiving loud
applause from the crowd.
Former U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys beat Australian wild-card entry Destanee
Aiava 6-2, 6-2 to open play at Rod Laver Arena on Day 2 of the Australian Open.
Keys broke Aiava's serve in the third game of the second set to go up 2-1, then
again in the seventh game thanks in part to an Aiava double-fault and two
Keys' best result at Melbourne Park was in 2015 when she beat Venus Williams
and Petra Kvitova en route to the semifinals, where she lost to Serena
Williams. She also made the quarterfinals last year, losing to 2016 champion
The now 18-year-old Aiava had the distinction of being the first male or female
player born in this century to play in a main draw Grand Slam singles match
when she received a wild card in 2017. She lost in the first round.
Another early winner Tuesday was seventh-seeded Karolina Pliskova, who beat
Czech qualifier Karolina Muchova 6-3, 6-2.
Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, with 13 Australian Open titles between
them, play their first-round matches Tuesday at what is expected to be a steamy
Williams, who has seven Australian titles and last won here in 2017, plays
Tatjana Maria in the second match at Rod Laver Arena.
Top-seeded Djokovic, who will attempt to win a men's record seventh Australian
title, opens night play on the same court against American Mitchell Krueger.
The temperature was already 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) when play began
on all courts shortly after 11 a.m. local time and it was expected to rise by
The sun and humidity added to the sultry conditions, forcing many of the early
spectators to take relief by standing under giant cooling mist machines.
More AP Tennis: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and