Australian Open 2018 may not have started on the best note possible with names like Andy Murray, Victoria Azarenka, and Serena Williams pulling out of the tournament sucking to their injury woes. However, as they say, the show must go on and here we are on the cusp of the first Grand Slam of 2018 and with Day 1 action.
Ahead of the first day at the Australian Open 2018, we take a look at the big-name players and their respective and some of the marquee match-ups which may or may not draw the bigger names but will certainly be a good watch for our viewers.
Venus Williams (5th) vs Belinda Bencic (98th)
While sister Serena is out of the tournament, Papa and Mumma Williams would turn to Venus to bring home the gold this year. Venus is currently ranked 5th in the world and is being tipped as one of the outsiders to win the women’s Australian Open title this year. She takes on the 98th ranked Belinda Bencic in the Round 1. Venus has defeated Bencic on all the 4 previous meetings between the two players.
Expected Start Time of the match – Not before 6:45 AM, Monday 15th Jan – Sony Ten2 / Sony Six
Rafa Nadal (1st) vs Victor Estrella Burgos (79th)
Coming into the tournament, World Number 1 Rafael Nadal’s injury concerns are his biggest obstacle to reclaim the Australian Open title. His first challenge at the competition will be Dominic Republic’s Estrella Burgos, ranked 79th. These 2 have never played against each other but Nadal will start as the favourite in this one.
Expected Start Time of the match – Not before 1:30 PM, Monday 15th Jan – Sony Ten2 / Sony Six
Samantha Stosur (41st) vs Monica Puig (57th)
Although the star levels are less in this Australian Open 1st round women’s match but the sheer unpredictability of both these players could give us a memorable Round 1 match at the Australian Open. Stosur lead 4-1 from their previous 5 meetings and will start this match with a slight advantage over her opponent.
Expected Start Time of the match – Not before 9:30 AM, Monday 15th Jan – Sony Ten2 / Sony Six
Nick Kyrgios (17th) vs Rogerio Dutra Silva (98th)
You just cannot miss any action when Nick Kyrgios is playing these days. The flamboyant is known to pull off any trick shot in the book right now and can be deadly when it comes to trading shots from the baseline. Kyrgios has seen a rapid rise to his career and find himself as the 17th ranked player in the world and he will take on the Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva who also likes to play hard-hitting tennis.
Expected Start Time of the match – Not before 1 PM, Monday 15th Jan – Sony Ten2 / Sony Six
Vasek Pospisil (105th) vs Marin Cilic (6th)
Despite all the promise and ability to do well, Marin Cilic’s grand slam run has been nothing short of appalling. The 6th ranked will start his Australian Open 2018 campaign with a match against Vasek Pospisil, who is ranked 105th in the world. CIlic has beaten Pospisil in the only meeting between the 2 players which came last year.
Expected Start Time of the match – Not before 1 AM, Monday 15th Jan – Sony Ten2 / Sony Six