Shahar Pe’er claimed her first win on tour in six months on Tuesday to advance
to the second round of the Australian Open, while Amir Weintraub recorded his
first-ever Grand Slam victory in Melbourne.
The only blemish on the day
for Israeli tennis was Dudi Sela’s first-round exit, although he went down
fighting, losing 3-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-3 to world No. 40 Nikolay
Pe’er, who dropped to No. 90 in the world on Monday, her
lowest position since 2005, defeated Russian Alexandra Panova (93) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3
after losing her first two matches of the season to players ranked outside the
Panova won nine more total points than Pe’er, with both players
recording six breaks of serve in an erratic encounter.
Pe’er reeled off
five straight games to clinch the first set, and after conceding the second in
just 29 minutes, fought back in the third for a desperately-needed
Next up for Pe’er is an intriguing showdown
with 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm (100), who stunned No. 12 seed Nadia
Petrova 6-2. 6-0.
Date-Krumm, who made her return to professional tennis
in 2008 after an 11-year retirement, became the oldest woman to ever win a match
in the Open era at the tournament.
“Some people, the player’s mother is
younger than me – so it’s like my daughter,” laughed Japan’s Date- Krumm, who is
17 years older than Pe’er. “Everybody is almost half age as me, so it’s not easy
but I’ve got nothing to lose so I just try to keep going.”
(196) was playing his first ever match in the main draw of a Grand Slam event
after coming through the qualifiers and he convincingly beat Guido Pella (97)
7-6 (2), 7-5, 6-2 in one hour and 57 minutes.
“I’m in tears,” Weintraub
wrote on his website after the match. “I’m really emotional. This is my greatest
win on tour in every aspect. I hope not to wake up from this
Weintraub will have to record a real upset if he’s to progress
past the second round, with No. 17 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber his next opponent
after the German beat Steve Darcis 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.
Williams refused to let a painful tumble divert her from her quest for a sixth
Australian Open title on Tuesday as Roger Federer and Andy Murray progressed
almost untroubled towards their goals on day two at Melbourne
Williams picked herself up to complete a resounding 6-0, 6-0
victory over Edina Gallovits-Hall, a ruthless dominance that world number one
and defending champion Victoria Azarenka was unable to replicate as she
progressed to the second round.
Swiss master Federer beat Benoit Paire
6-2, 6-4, 6-1 to embark on his campaign for an 18th major title after Briton
Murray had steadied his Grand Slam nerves with a controlled 6-3, 6-1, 6-3
victory over Robin Haase.
After an underwhelming opening day of the
tournament on Monday, the sheer wealth of talent on display on the show courts
almost ensured a better day two under the sunny skies at Melbourne
There is no bigger personality in tennis than Williams, who is
chasing a third successive Grand Slam title after wins at Wimbledon and the US
Open, and the American almost inevitably hogged the spotlight.
towards victory, the 31- year-old turned her ankle after hitting a forehand and
lay prone on the court for a couple of dramatic minutes – immediately recalling
her fall at Brisbane last year that ultimately ended her 2012 Melbourne
“It was definitely a lot of pain,” she said. “Also a little bit
of the memory, as well. So it was definitely a little bit of both. But also at
the same time trying to gather myself together and trying to make sure that I
She was soon back up, ankle strapped, to complete the rout
and said nothing would stop her from taking to court for her second round tie
against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.
“I’ll be out there,” she said. “I mean,
unless something fatal happens to me, there’s no way I’m not going to be
competing. I’m alive. My heart’s beating. I’ll be fine.”
Williams is pursuing her 16th Grand Slam title, Murray is hoping to bag his
second after his triumph at the US Open last year and he made short work of
“There’s nerves in the build-up,” the third seed said.
“You just got to try and focus and play solid, not make too many silly mistakes.
I did a good job of that today.”
Federer, four times a champion in
Melbourne, easily negotiated what had been billed as potentially difficult tie
against young French shot-maker Paire.
“I’m obviously very happy with this
first-round match, so total control,” he said. “He can be a tricky opponent but
I guess his playing style doesn’t disturb me that much overall.”
remained on a third-round collision course with Australian Bernard Tomic, who
delighted the home crowd with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 win over Argentine Leonardo
Women’s top seed Azarenka was forced to come back from 3-0 down in
the second set in her 6-1, 6-4 victory over Romania’s Monica
With second seed Maria Sharapova having also won her
first-round match without conceding a game, Azarenka might have been looking to
make a similar statement but the Belarussian said she was just happy to be back
on the court.
“I couldn’t wait to get out there and play,” said the
23-year-old, who pulled out of the Brisbane warm-up after suffering a toe
infection following a pedicure.
“I think I had a good first
match. That’s what I needed to get into that competitive spirit, which I
did. I’m happy.”
Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki looked like she
might be on her way home but the 10th seeded Dane battled back from a set down
to beat German Sabine Lisicki 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Reuters contributed to this
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