It was the final match of the first day of action at the 2021 Australian Open, and the much-anticipated showdown between two young talents did not disappoint. In the end, it was Denis Shapovalov who came out victorious as the 11th seeded Canadian defeated Italy’s Jannik Sinner 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.
Shapovalov blasted 62 winners and converted on half of his break point opportunities to outlast Sinner and secure his spot in the second round after three hours and 55 minutes.
“I’m going to try to recover as much as possible and get ready,” he said afterwards. “Of course Bernard [Tomic] is no joke as well, he’s been a great player, he’s a really tough opponent, he’s got a great serve, he’s super solid from the back, so that’s going to be another tricky match heading into Wednesday.”
Shapovalov draws Australian Bernard Tomic next. Tomic came through qualifying and won his opening main draw match 3-6, 6-1, 4-1 (ret.) on Monday.
Top-seed Novak Djokovic needed a little over an hour and half to knock off France’s Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-1, 6-2
“It felt great,” said Djokovic, who hit a whopping 41 winners to just 11 unforced errors. “I started the match really well. Broke his serve and [it was] pretty much [a] flawless match, especially on my service games. I was very dominant. I went very quickly through my service games. I think every shot that I executed tonight was really good and on a high level. I’m very pleased the way I opened up at the Australian Open.”
The defending champion will look to maintain that form in a second round showdown against American Frances Tiafoe, who was a straight-sets winner over Italy’s Stefano Traviglia.
On the women’s side, second-seed Simona Halep, third-seed Naomi Osaka and 10th seed Serena Williams all rolled in their respective Aussie openers. Halep beat Australian wild card Lizette Cabrera 6-2, 6-1, Osaka rolled Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 6-2, and Serena knocked off German Laura Siegemund 6-1, 6-1.
“This was a good start. Definitely vintage ‘Rena’,” Serena Williams said. “It’s definitely good. I think I’m pretty good at pacing myself in a Grand Slam. I was happy just to get through it. Wasn’t sure how my serve would be after a little bit of that shoulder, but it’s feeling good, I’, feeling good. So it felt really good.”
American Bernarda Pera defeated 23rd seed and former champion Angelique Kerber 6-0, 6-4.
“I knew that I had a tough opponent but I was ready for it,” said Pera. “She’s a great fighter. It was probably not her greatest match. The first set-and-a-half I played my game and then she fought a little bit better towards the end of the second set but I am happy to get the win.”
Click Here to see the full results from Day One at the 2021 Australian Open.