Australian Open 2024 live scores, schedule, order of play: Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, day 1 results

Australian Open 2024 live scores, schedule, order of play: Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, day 1 results


Russian Pavel Vyacheslavovich Kotov can count himself fortunate he was not disqualified immediately on Court 6, after an on-court tantrum that almost took out a young ballgirl.

Kotov, who won in a fiece battle against Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech took out his frustrations on a ball, smashing it against the backwall, and just barely missing the ballgirl behind him.

FOLLOW EVERYTHING IN OUR DAY ONE LIVE COVERAGE BELOW

5:00PM: THE CARROTS MORE FAMOUS THAN ITALIAN SUPERSTAR

– Chris Cavanagh

Six diehard fans of rising tennis star Jannik Sinner who dress as carrots and attend the Italian’s matches around the world are quickly becoming “more famous” than the world No.4.

The ‘Carota Boys’ were again in the stands to watch Sinner’s first-round match against Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp on Rod Laver Arena on Sunday, having previously cheered on their hero at the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open last year.

The fan group have more than 70,000 followers on their Instagram account and sell signature orange t-shirts through their own website which read ‘Let’s Go Sinner, Let’s Go’ on the back.

Sinner said it was nice to have support from the group at major tournaments that he plays in all over the world.

“I was not expecting them to come here, but it’s nice to see them in the stands,” Sinner said.

“We have made some great memories together with all the support they give me. Yeah, they are getting more and more famous than I am, slowly.

“I’m happy for them. It’s nice to have them. Obviously, I also have to watch out for myself because I want to win as many matches as possible. But maybe the support gives me, in the key moments, this extra belief maybe, who knows. Let’s see how it goes here. But I’m happy that they are here.”

4:45PM: SWEENY’S HOPE DASHED IN FIFTH-SET BLITZ

Australian qualifier Dane Sweeny has fallen short of a first-round upset in a five-set thriller in his grand slam debut at Melbourne Park.

In his first appearance on the big stage at a major, Sweeny won plenty of fans after pushing Argentinian No.22 seed Francisco Cerundolo to a deciding fifth set before eventually losing 6-3 3-6 4-6 6-2 2-6.

The 22-year-old with the Lleyton Hewitt-esque fist pump, ‘C’mon’ cries and the back-to-front cap made a hot start to take the first set with the crowd right behind him on John Cain Arena.

Cerundolo hit back to take the next two sets before Sweeny sent the match into a decider to give himself a chance of becoming the first local hope through to the second round.

But the Australian, who is ranked 257th in the world, was unable to match Cerundolo in the final set – the first time he has been pushed to five sets.

Cerundolo took control with a 15-point blitz in the deciding set, all but ending the game.

Sweeny impressed with his hustle during the match, skidding and sliding around the court chasing balls, snapping his shoelaces and finishing with grazes on his knee.

4:25PM: HOWZAT! BLINDING CATCH IGNITES CROWD

Well, this could have been handy to show Australia’s recent Test cricket opponents Pakistan, as cool and calm a grab as you will see all tournament under the bright sunshine.

4:15 BOILOVER ON THE CARDS?

– Rebecca Williams

Australian qualifier Dane Sweeny has taken his first-round battle against Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo to a deciding fifth set.

The 22-year-old with the Lleyton Hewitt-esque fist pump, ‘C’mon’ cries on court and the back-to-front cap levelled his match with the No.22 seed at two sets apiece after taking the fourth set 6-2.

In his grand slam main draw debut, Sweeny made a blistering start to take the first set 6-3 on John Cain Arena.

Cerundolo hit back to take the next two sets 3-6 and 4-6 before the Australian sent the match into a decider to give himself a chance of becoming the first local hope through to the second round.

4:00PM: PARKS RIDES HIGH INTO SECOND ROUND

American Alycia Parks has punched her ticket to the second round of the Australian Open, prevailing after a tough battle with Daria Snigur of Ukraine.

Parks was blown away in the first set, before rallying for a possible date with the 32nd seed Leylah Fernadez of Canada.

3.15PM: SINNER RIDES HIGH ON AUSSIE INFLUENCE

– Chris Cavanagh

Italian rising star Jannik Sinner has become the first seeded men’s player to progress to the second-round of the Australian Open after powering past Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp.

The world No.4 didn’t have it all his own way on Rod Laver Arena but eventually prevailed in straight sets 6-4 7-5 6-3.

Nicknamed ‘The Fox’, the 22-year-old former junior skiing star spent some of his off-season on the European slopes and has been tuning in to the Alpine Ski World Cup since arriving in Melbourne.

But he is no downhill skier on the tennis court and was at his brutal best at stages against van de Zandschulp in a match that included some long rallies from back court.

One of Sinner’s coaches is Australian Darren Cahill, who is a former coach of Lleyton Hewitt, Andrew Agassi and Simona Halep.

Sinner said after his first-round win that he was helping Cahill become “more Italian”.

“We try to teach him what kind of pasta is good to eat and what is not,” Sinner said.

3.00PM: SINNER CRUISES INTO SECOND ROUND

Italy’s world No.4 has turned a tricky first round match into a cakewalk, with a straight sets win over Botic Van de Zandschulp on Rod Laver Arena.

Sinner, a quarter-finalists at Melbourne Park two years ago, looks to have the tools to go deep this year – and didn’t look too troubled as he blew out the cobwebs.

“First match of the season – it means a lot for me to win and to play on this court,” he said.

A few things need to fall into place beforehand, but Sinner could yet face Australia’s Alex de Minaur in a quarter-final next week.

2.45PM: KREJCIKOVA BATTLES BACK TO AVOID EARLY UPSET

– Chris Cavanagh

Czech champion Barbora Krejcikova has survived a scare from a little-known Australian Open wildcard to progress to the second round at Melbourne Park.

The 2021 French Open champion and former world No.2 – who is the ninth-seed at the tournament – made a sloppy start to her match against Japanese pocket rocket Mai Hontama on Margaret Court Arena, losing the first set 2-6.

The women’s ninth-seed went on to have her right ankle re-strapped in the second set, before fighting on to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.

“It was definitely a really, really difficult match,” Krejcikova said.

“Mia was playing really well and I was struggling, but I believe that I can come back and that I can level up and I’m really happy that I won.”

It was only Hontama’s second Grand Slam appearance after she made the second round of Wimbeldon in 2022.

The 24-year-old has never won a WTA Singles title and is currently ranked No. 116 in the world.

Krejcikova made the fourth round of the Australian Open last year.

2.30PM: NINTH SEED IN SERIOUS STRIFE

Czech ninth seed Barbora Krejcikova is battling to keep her Australian Open alive.

The one-time French Open champion is not exactly 100 per cent as she takes on world No.116 Mai Hontama, of Japan.

After dropping the first set in quick time, Krejcikova levelled things before taking a medical time-out early in the third set.

Elsewhere, Jannik Sinner – a genuine title contender in the men’s draw – is surging towards victory over dangerous round-one opponent Botic van de Zandschulp.

2PM: IS KYRGIOS A WASTED TALENT?

It’s a question that has been posed at some point in January in recent years – but tennis legend Andre Agassi had a different point of view when asked if Australia’s Nick Kyrgios is a ‘wasted talent’.

Kyrgios, who is missing the Australian Open through injury for the second year running, is a polarising figure– because his supreme talent has taken him so close to the very top of world tennis.

Victories over Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal prove he has what it takes to beat the best, but still a grand slam title remains elusive. He achieved his greatest grand slam result at Wimbledon in 2022, going down to Djokovic in the final, and injuries have since derailed his career.

And, responding to a question by Channel Nine’s Tony Jones about whether Kyrgios was a ‘wasted talent’, Agassi – who battled demons of his own through a decorated career – spoke of the healing powers of the Australian’s time out of the game.

“Unfortunately we think we know more about people than we do. We never really know what’s going on in their head and in their heart,” Agassi said.

“I played a lot of years in this game where I was very disconnected with my own sense of purpose when I was out there.

“One thing I’ll say about Nick, from the outside you definitely get what he’s feeling regardless of what it is.

“He (has) definitely exposed the fact, his honesty with the game, or maybe his lack of desire, which hopefully gives him a chance to heal and hopefully tennis will benefit from him figuring out how to bring that talent back for our enjoyment.”

1.50PM: AUSSIE WILDCARD COPS STRAIGHT SETS WIPEOUT

– Rebecca Williams

Australian wildcard Adam Walton’s debut grand slam campaign is over after just one match after he suffered a straight sets loss on the opening day of action at Melbourne Park.

The first local hope on court at the Australian Open, Walton made a strong start to his match against Italian Matteo Arnaldi before falling 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 6-4 on Kia Arena.

Walton, 24, pushed Arnaldi in an opening set tie-break, but the world No.41 swept past the unseeded Australian in the second set.

Arnaldi looked to be in control at 3-1 in the third set, but faced resistance from Walton, who is ranked 176 in the world, to close out the match.

The Italian sealed his first-round win with an ace to take his tally to 16-1 for the match, while he fired 57-21 winners.

After dispatching one Australian, Arnaldi will face the winner of Monday’s opening-round clash between Alex de Minaur and Milos Raonic in the second round.

In his Australian Open debut, it is the third third time Arnaldi has reached the second round of a grand slam.

The 22-year-old broke into the top 50 for the first time after reaching the fourth round at the US Open in September last year.

Walton is one of 15 Australian men to begin the men’s singles draw at the Australian Open.

1.30PM: SWIATEK CRACKS RARE SERENA MARK

Iga Swiatek is the best female tennis player on the planet – and she’s racking up the resume to prove it.

And when she takes the court against American Sofia Kenin on Tuesday, she’ll become the first female player since Serena Williams to be seeded No.1 at eight consecutive grand slams.

Swiatek claimed the top seed at the 2022 French Open, where she won her second grand slam title, and has not relinquished that title since.

She’s got a way to go to match Serena, however. Between 2013 and 2016, the GOAT was top seed at 15 consecutive grand slams.

1.05PM: AUS OPEN STAR’S SHOCK BABY REVEAL

– Chris Cavanagh

Tunisian star Ons Jabeur has spoken of the pain of a second-straight runner-up finish at Wimbeldon last year, after falling to Markéta Vondroušová in straight sets.

That loss came a month before Jabeur’s 29th birthday and she had promised to try to start a family with husband Karim Kamoun if she won.

“There was a personal thing going on there. I win that (final), I could have a baby right away,” Jabeur said.

“It was the toughest loss of my career because emotionally it destroyed me, not only winning Wimbledon, but the idea of having a baby just vanished with the trophy of Wimbledon. So I think that’s what killed me and Karim, we were crying like babies.”

The current world No.6, Jabeur’s dream is to become the first Arab and first African woman to lift a Grand Slam trophy.

Jabeur faces Ukrainian qualifier Yuliia Starodubtseva in the first round of the Australian Open.

12.55PM: FIRST WINNER DECIDED AT MELBOURNE PARK

It’s not looking good for Aussie wildcard Adam Walton. He’s just been wiped out in the second set to fall behind 7-6 6-2 to Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi.

After a seesawing first set, Walton hit the wall and quickly conceded the second.

Meanwhile, we have some early winners at this year’s tournament.

Canada’s Leylah Fernandez destroyed Czech wildcard Sara Bejlek in straight sets 7-6 (7-5) 6-2, while Kamilla Rakhimova beat American Emina Bektas 6-4 6-4.

12.28PM: AUSSIE WILDCARD PROVIDES STIFF COMPETITION

—Rebecca Williams

The first Australian on court at Melbourne Park, wildcard Adam Walton, has gone down fighting in the opening set of his first-round duel against Italian Matteo Arnaldi.

Making his grand slam debut at the Australian Open, Walton pushed the No.41 ranked Arnaldi to a tie break before falling 7-6 (7-5) in the match on Kia Arena.

The 24-year-old Australian, ranked No.176 in the world, made an impressive start in his first appearance on the big stage, breaking serve in the opening game and matching Arnaldi on serve throughout the opening set.

Arnaldi took control early in the tie break, racing to a 3-0 lead before Walton edged back, before the Italian wrapped up the opening set.

Walton is one of 15 Australian men to begin the men’s singles draw at the Australian Open.

12PM: ‘UNCOMFORTABLE DISPARTY’ EMERGES AT AUSTRALIAN OPEN

The 2024 Australian Open will be a special one for many reasons – not least of all because of the return of three former champions who are rejoining the tour after becoming mothers.

But the media interest around the star trio, and in particular their motherhood, has created an uneasy tension at Melbourne Park for one prominent tennis broadcaster.

Australian Open champions Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber will make their return to grand slam tennis at Melbourne this week.

2018 winner Caroline Wozniacki will make her first appearance at Melbourne Park since retiring in 2020, before having two children, though she made her grand slam comeback at last year’s US Open, reaching the fourth round.

Their achievements, in being able to not only return to the pro circuit but do it so quickly and still be able to achieve success, are ‘superhuman’.

And it is not that which rankles Catherine Whitaker, of the Tennis Podcast, but more the disparity in how the obsession with parenthood is between the men’s and women’s players on tour.

“I think that is incredible and newsworthy and a brilliant story, and yes it is legitimately editorially to ask them about it,” Whitaker said.

“But Kerber and Wozniacki were pretty much exclusively motherhood and then Medvedev comes in at the end of the day, who has become a father in the past 12 months, and not one question about it.

“I feel this massive tension about (how) I agree it’s legitimate editorially and yet I’m uncomfortable about the total disparity.”

11.40AM: AUSSIE WILDCARD IN AN EARLY FIGHT

Adam Walton got off to a dream start in his first grand slam match, breaking Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi in the opening game of their clash.

Things went south, a little bit, when he was immediately broken back – and then shortly after was called on to save two break points.

But the Australian is warming into the match.

Meanwhile, Ukranian 28 seed Lesia Tsurenko is in early trouble in her clash with Lucia Bronzetti – with the Italian already serving for the first set, with a double break in her pocket.

11.20AM: CAN DEMON GO ALL THE WAY?

He’s finally cracked the top 10, and is a maiden grand slam on the way for Australian Alex de Minaur?

It’s possible, according the biggest hurdle standing in his way: Novak Djokovic.

“I know the expectations are high from him as they normally are from (Nick) Kyrgios or any other top Australian player when they play at home,” Djokovic said.

“There is a great chance that he can do very well and go deep in the tournament.

“Obviously you never know. You can’t predict the results. But he’s in great shape.”

De Minaur toppled Djokovic in the United Cup earlier this month en route his career-high ranking of 10 in the world, and the Serbian star was impressed with the Australian’s development.

“De Minaur played great in the United Cup. He beat (Taylor) Fritz, myself, (Alexander) Zverev … it’s obviously a big deal for him, for Australian tennis, (but) it didn’t come as a surprise to me,” Djokovic said.

“I know that he’s capable of doing big things. He’s one of the quickest, if not the quickest, tennis player we have in the game.

“He’s got all-round tennis game. He can play equally well defence and offence. He’s improving.”

10.50AM: AGASSI’S SURPRISE MEETING

Fancy meeting you here?

Four-time Australian Open champ Andre Agassi had a nice reunion, of sorts, with wife and all-time great Steffi Graf on Sunday.

Agassi, on hand for the arrival of the trophies for the men’s and women’s champions, was in the bowels of Melbourne Park when he spotted a familiar face – on the wall, of course.

Like Agassi, Graf is a four-time Australian Open champion so her face adorns the walls as players make their way onto Rod Laver Arena.

And the American great couldn’t help but steal a kiss.

10.30AM: MEET WILD CARD OPENING AUS OPEN

Adam Walton is the 24-year-old wildcard who will be the first Australian in action at this year’s tournament.

Walton will face Italian Matteo Arnaldi first up on Kia Arena, but what can fans expect of the world No.176?

If it feels like he’s come from nowhere, it’s because he’s only a recent addition to the tour – having spent five years playing college tennis at the University of Tennessee, before turning pro in 2022.

“Even after my second to last year, I still wasn’t sure if I’d play pro,” Walton told atptour.com.

“It wasn’t until the end of my final year that I thought I’d give it a crack. Just being here in the situation I’m in is a bonus.”

Walton has surged from outside the top 400 on the ATP Rankings on the back of a dream 2023 on the Challenger Tour.

9.45AM: DJOKOVIC REIGNITES FEUD WITH US YOUNG GUN

Australian Open king Novak Djokovic has reignited his feud with American rising star Ben Shelton, slamming the youngster as ‘unsportmanlike’ in an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe.

The pair clashed at last year’s US Open, with Djokovic imitating the American’s trademark celebration after a straight-sets win.

At the time, Djokovic – who mimicked Shelton’s ‘dialled in’ phone call celebration, before slamming the phone down – said he did it out of admiration.

“I just love Ben’s celebration. I thought it was very original and I copied him. I stole his celebration,” Djokovic said after his win last year.

Shelton’s father, Bryan, was less impressed and suggested Djokovic’s actions were designed to mock his son.

‘He wanted to mock Ben at the end,” Bryan Shelton said.

“It wasn’t something he was doing just to copy Ben. It was to mock him.”

And it seems Shelton Snr may have been right all along, with Djokovic reopening the feud with a surprising spray on the eve of the Australian Open.

“It was a reaction against him, he did not behave properly, with respect, on court, and before the match,” he told L’Equipe.

“If anyone one places himself in the unsportsmanlike zone, I react.”

9AM: TWO HOURS UNTIL THE START OF THE TENNIS

We’re just two hours away from the first matches which will open the 2024 Australian Open, with the Australian wildcard Adam Walton one of the first on court.

The world No.176 will face Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi in the opening match on Kia Arena, while on John Cain Arena former US Open finalist – and 32nd seed – Leylah Fernandez will take on Czech wildcard Sara Bejlek.

Women’s 28th seed Lesia Tsurenko is the other pick of the early matches, taking on Italy’s Lucia Bronzetti.

8.30AM: FIVE AUSSIES TO WATCH THIS OPEN

8AM: ‘SHE’S GONNA DIE’: TRUTH BEHIND AUS OPEN STAR’S SCARY COLLAPSE

By Chris Cavanagh

Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur has opened up on a health scare last year which left her team thinking she was “gonna die”.

After suffering a shock second-round exit from the Australian Open last year, Jabeur announced in early February that she was undergoing an undisclosed “minor surgery” in a bid to “be able to be back on the courts and perform well”.

There was speculation at the time that Jabeur was having knee surgery, but a new documentary has revealed that the surgery was instead to reduce the size of a worrying nodule which was obstructing her airway and left her struggling to breathe.

“I thought she’s gonna die,” Jaebur’s coach Issam Jellali said in the This is Me documentary on streaming platform Tod.tv.

Jaebur went on to miss the Middle East swing during five weeks on the sidelines post-surgery, pulling out of events in Doha and Dubai.

“For once in my life I had to put myself in front of everyone, my health in front of everyone,” Jabeur said in the documentary.

“That’s something I don’t think I’ve done a lot in my career.”

7.45AM: WORLD NO.1’S KEY CHANGE

By Rebecca Williams

While she has finished at No.1 the past two years, Iga Swiatek has made some slight technical adjustments to her serve ahead of the Australian Open, which she said already felt “natural”.

And, surprisingly, she said it was a move nearly 18 months in the making – and one which was delayed by a 2022 US Open triumph which came as a shock to the Polish star.

“We’ve been planning to do that for a long time now. It’s hard to find the proper time, especially when we kind of wanted to do it last year, but I won suddenly (the) US Open …. we were like, ‘Why would we do it after winning a Grand Slam?’,” Swiatek said.

“The timing was pretty tricky. We also tried a little bit to change something after Wimbledon last year. This time I knew I was kind of ready to just stick with it and not come back to my older movement, my previous movement.

“I mean, it’s not a big change …. it was enough for me to have a couple weeks, yeah, to be fully committed, not let myself go back to the old movement.

“I feel like it’s already kind of natural for me, especially because I served like that when I was younger. It’s just more compact and more smooth – I hope. That was the goal at least.

“I think anybody who would really analyse my serve could see that the movement, sometimes it wasn’t smooth enough. Sometimes when I got more tight, it got, like, a little bit worse. Hopefully we can avoid that with my new serve.”

7.20AM: BIG MATCHES TO WATCH OUT FOR TODAY

7.00AM: CAN ALCARAZ DETHRONE THE KING OF MELBOURNE PARK?

By Chris Cavanagh

The next-generation tennis star who ruined Novak Djokovic’s quest to win all four Grand Slam trophies last year says he is ready to dethrone the Australian Open king.

Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz – who is currently ranked world No. 2 behind Djokovic – is on the opposite side of the draw to the 10-time Melbourne Park champion, placing the pair on a potential collision course for the final.

Alcaraz sat out last year’s Australian Open after suffering a hamstring injury during practice, but went on make semi-finals at Roland Garros and the US Open, as well as downing Djokovic in the final at Wimbledon.

The Wimbledon crown was the rising star’s second Grand Slam title, after taking out the US Open in 2022.

“I’m an ambitious guy,” Alcaraz said on Saturday.

“I always want to play against the best players in the world to see what my level is and obviously it’s a good test playing against him (Djokovic) in the tournament that he’s almost unbeaten (in).

“I’m looking for reaching the final and hopefully playing a final against him. It would be great, obviously.

“Knowing those stats (Djokovic’s record in Melbourne) is an extra motivation for sure.”

Labelled the “complete player” by seven-time Grand Slam winner and tennis commentator John McEnroe, Alcaraz won 65 of his 77 matches on the ATP tour last year.

The 20-year-old, who lists Rafael Nadal as his hero, was the youngest player ever to reach a No. 1 world ranking during the 2022 season.

However, he says he is “not perfect” yet as he strives to take another stride forward with his game this year.

“I think everybody can be better,” Alcaraz said.

“I have to improve a lot of things on the court and off the court as well.

“I did a good preparation coming to this year. I think right now we have to improve with the things that I didn’t do well last year, for example, and trying to be better with my team and myself.

“But I think this year is going to be a good one.”

Alcaraz said it would be “more than fabulous” to replicate his 2023 season in 2024, which starts with a match-up against veteran Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the first round of the Australian Open.

Like a number of players, Alcaraz chose to extend his off-season break rather than compete in a lead-up tournament in Australia before the year’s first Grand Slam.

“I prefer to have a holiday, have my days to recover my body, my mind as well,” he said.

“We discussed with my team, as well, that we needed almost four, five weeks of pre-season to prepare well this season.

“I’m a guy who doesn’t need so much competition before a big tournament.

“I think I’m prepared to do good things here in the Grand Slam.”



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *