31/05/2024
US Open 2021 Aussies first round

Jordan Thompson triumphed in a five set epic. Photo: Tennis Australia

Four of Australia's 12 hopefuls have progressed through the first round at the US Open, with top seeds surviving some big scares.

Four of Australia’s 12 hopefuls have progressed through the first round at the US Open, with top seeds surviving some big scares.

Ash Barty [1] was the big watch for Aussies coming into day two, and she passed in flying colours. Ajla Tomljanović was the other woman to make it through to the second round, but the news wasn’t so great in the men’s bracket.

Both Alex de Minaur [14] and Nick Kyrgios have crashed out, but Alexei Popyrin and Jordan Thompson produced some of their best tennis when it mattered to fly the flag into the round of 64.

Barty Party into second round

Ash Barty has breezed through her first round matchup with veteran Vera Zvonareva in straight sets.

Before play, the tournament favourite had also received some news that gives her a better opportunity to make a deep run, with the United States’ Jennifer Brady ruled out of competition.

Brady – who made the Australian Open final this year – was in Barty’s quarter and would have been her biggest threat to making it out.

Ash Barty is into the second round. Photo: @ashbarty

Ajla Tomljanović made her opportunities count against American Katie Volynets to win through 6-3 6-1. She didn’t give up a break point opportunity and converted four herself in a clinical display.

It wasn’t to be for 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur, who will now focus on her doubles campaign. The veteran succumbed to Estonian Anett Kontaveit [28] in the first round.

Coming in as a slight favourite, Storm Sanders will be disappointed to be sent packing in the first round of her maiden US Open main draw. She gave up too many break point opportunities to Misaki Doi, who was able to make her pay and take her head-to-head record to 2-0 against Sanders.

On the first day of play, Astra Sharma was bundled out in straight sets by Barbora Krejčíková [8], who looks in ominous form after winning the French Open earlier this year.

Barty will face Clara Taunson in the second round, while Tomljanović has a matchup with Petra Martić [30].

Ash Barty [1]67[9]
Vera Zvonareva16[7]
Ajla Tomljanović66
Katie Volynets31
Sam Stosur 30
Anett Kontaveit [28]66
Storm Sanders6[3]3
Misaki Doi7[7]6
Astra Sharma04
Barbora Krejčíková [8]66

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Top Aussie men bundled out

Tough first round matchups for Alex de Minaur [14] and Nick Kyrgios proved too much for the Aussies.

De Minaur came up against big-hitter Taylor Fritz, who got the job done in four entertaining sets. The American was receiving a great boost from his home crowd as he was able to get the job done in a first set tiebreaker 7-4.

His second set was clinical, and despite an even tussle for the remainder of the match, it proved too much for the Aussie number-one to overcome.

Kyrgios had his work cut out for him in the form of Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut [18]. The big-hitting Aussies’ serve wasn’t where it needed to be, recording just 55 per cent of his first serves and only 10 aces on the match.

Bautista Agut did well to minimise the free points he was giving up, and took advantage as rallies wore on.

James Duckworth also fell to a Spaniard, with Pedro Martinez coming back from two sets down in an epic.

John Millman fell to big server Henri Laaksonen in straight sets, while Max Purcell took it right up to young gun Jannik Sinner [13] but eventually lost out in four entertaining sets.

Alexei Popyrin was gifted a nicer matchup, and made the most of it in defeating veteran Radu Albot. He held his serve well with 11 aces and gave up only one break point opportunity.

Alexei Popyrin is into the second round. Photo: Tennis Australia

Jordan Thompson was embroiled in a huge five-setter, eventually getting the best of Italian Gianluca Mager. The Aussie showcased his brilliant tenacity and power hitting to record 17 aces, but most importantly held his nerve in the fifth set tiebreaker.

The classic was one of the highlights of the first round for the Aussies in an otherwise disappointing beginning to the final Grand Slam in the calendar year.

Alex de Minaur [14]6[4]264
Taylor Fritz7[7]616
Nick Kyrgios340
Roberto Bautista Agut [18]666
James Duckworth666[7]22
Pedro Martinez447[9]66
John Millman6[6]6[2]1
Henri Laaksonen7[8]7[7]6
Max Purcell4262
Jannik Sinner [13]6646
Alexei Popyrin66[3]66
Radu Albot37[7]33
Jordan Thompson46727[7]
Gianluca Mager63566[3]

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