The champions from the recent tennis tournaments held in Canberra all advanced to the second round at the Australian Open. Also Canberra’s own Nick Kyrgios moved to round two.
The Apis Canberra International was held last October/November in Canberra and was won by Australia’s Matt Ebden and fellow Australian, Olivia Rogowska.
Ebden defeated the no. 16 seed John Isner from the USA. The score was 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Ebden was making his return to main draw Grand Slam action after not having played in the main draw since the 2016 Australian Open where he lost his first-round match. Isner and Ebden had met before in a Grand Slam when they faced off in a second-round match at the 2015 Wimbledon event. Back then it was Isner who won in straight sets.
Ebden has been slowly improving his ranking during 2017 and will not further boost it after reaching round two with no points to defend. Next up is Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov who defeated Andreas Haider-Maurer 7-6, 6-3, 6-4. Dolgopolov has been as high as no. 13 in the rankings back in 2012 and now sits at 37 compared to Ebden at no. 78. Ebden has never advanced beyond the second round at any Grand Slam tournament in his career. In 2014 and 2012 he had reached the second round at the Australian Open. Dolgopolov was a quarterfinalist at the Australian Open back in 2011, but since reaching round three in 2012, Dolgopolov also has not advanced beyond the second round at the Aussie Open. With form on the board, this is the chance for Ebden to reach a new milestone.
Australia’s Olivia Rogowska earned a wildcard into the Australian Open with strong performances on the Australian Pro Tour. Like Ebden, Rogowska won the Apis Canberra International in 2017 defeating Destanee Aiava in the final. Rogowska faced Australia’s Jaimee Fourlis, who also was a wildcard recipient. Fourlis is ranked at 286 and Rogowska at 168. Rogowska advanced with a 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 win. She will face Ukrainian qualifier Marta Kostyuk who is just 15-years-old and is the junior champion from 2017.
The other recent Champion from a tennis event in Canberra is Italy’s Andreas Seppi. He won the East Hotel Canberra Challenger last week. At the Australian Open he played French wildcard recipient Corentin Moutet who is just 18-years-old. Moutet was a first-round loser at the Canberra event. The more experienced Seppi took a while to get into the match, after losing the first set, he powered to a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 victory. Next up for Seppi is Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka who upset the 27th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 2-6, 6-0, 6-1, 6-2. Seppi should be a good chance to advance to the third round, something he needs to do to avoid dropping too many rankings points after reached the fourth round in 2017.
Finally to Canberra’s Nick Kyrgios. He had a comfortable 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win over Brazil’s Rogerio Dutra Silva who is ranked at 98. Dutra Silva is a good all-around player but was no match for the power of his Australian opponent. Kyrgios was playing on his favourite court, Hisense Arena, the people’s court. It is rowdier than the other show courts, something that suits Kyrgios. On the opening day things became slightly easier for Kyrgios as the top two seeded players in his quarter were eliminated. Jack Sock at no. 8 and Kevin Anderson, last year’s US Open finalist and the 11th seed both slumped to shock defeats.
Kyrgios will play Serbia’s Viktor Troicki in the second round. Troicki took five sets to defeat Australia’s Alex Bolt 6-7, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4. Bolt is mostly a Challenger series level competitor.