Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Australian Open Day 2: No. 12 Lopez survives scare

American wild card Denis Kudla had three match points
in a five-set loss to 12th-seeded Feliciano Lopez.
2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Match of the day -- No. 12 seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain saved three match points in a 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 10-8 victory over American wild card Denis Kudla on Monday (in the United States) in the first round in Melbourne. Kudla lost his serve at love in the final game.
  Upset of the day -- Camila Giorgi beat fellow Italian Flavia Pennetta, the 12th seed, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. 
   Notable -- Victoria Azarenka, who won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, dispatched Sloane Stephens, an Australian Open semifinalist two years ago, 6-3, 6-2. Both players are trying to rebound from injuries last year.
   Men's seeded winners -- No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 4 Stan Wawrinka (defending champion), No. 5 Kei Nishikori, No. 8 Milos Raonic, No. 9 David Ferrer, No. 12 Feliciano Lopez, No. 13 Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 17 Gael Monfils, No. 18 Gilles Simon, No. 19 John Isner, No. 30 Santiago Giraldo, No. 31 Fernando Verdasco. 
   Men's seeded losers -- No. 16 Fabio Fognini, No. 21 Alexandr Dolgopolov, No. 25 Julien Benneteau, No. 27 Pablo Cuevas.
   Women's seeded winners -- No. 1 Serena Williams, No. 4 Petra Kvitova, No. 6 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 8 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 11 Dominika Cibulkova, No. 18 Venus Williams, No. 19 Alize Cornet, No. 20 Samantha Stosur, No. 24 Garbine Muguruza, No. 25 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, No. 26 Elina Svitolina, No. 29 Casey Dellacqua, No. 30 Varvara Lepchenko. 
   Women's seeded losers -- No. 12 Pennetta, No. 13 Andrea Petkovic, No. 15 Jelena Jankovic.
   U.S. report -- American women went 10-3 on Monday and the men 3-2.
   Northern California connection -- Former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs, making her Australian Open main-draw debut, defeated wild card Olivia Rogowska, playing in her hometown, 6-4, 6-1. Rogowska won the $50,000 Sacramento Challenger last July, and Gibbs lost in the second round.
   Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native and veteran of the now-defunct Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis, lost to Vasek ("Anything Is") Pospisil of Canada 6-3, 6-7 (5), 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Querrey, a former top-20 player who swept three Northern California Challengers last fall, fell to 0-3 in singles in tennis' major leagues this year. Pospisil and American Jack Sock upset top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan to win the Wimbledon men's doubles title last year.
   Fast facts -- Twelve of 17 American women reached the second round, tied for the United States' most in the Australian Open since 1999. Four of seven U.S. men advanced.
   Azarenka is unseeded at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since the 2007 U.S. Open.
   Quote -- "Now I have even more motivation." -- Djokovic, on getting married and having a son last year.

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