My fave tennis playing siblings are once again starting the New Year Down Under at the first Grand Slam tournament of the 2016 tennis season in the Australian Open.
And after the first round matches were completed in Melbourne, there’s some good news and bad news to report.
First the bad news. There were 12 players in the women’s singles bracket that went down in first round upsets. Number 2 seed Simona Halep, #16 seed Caroline Wozniacki, #17 Sara Errani, #22 Andrea Petkovic, #24 Sloane Stephens and #25 Samantha Stosur were some of the folks who went down in the first round. #23 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova went bye bye in the second round.
Joining that list of one round and done players was Venus Williams. 8th seeded Big Sis is surprisingly done for this tournament after she was upset by Johanna Konta of Great Britain in straight sets 4-6, 2-6. Venus has a great 2015 in which she reached the quarterfinals at last year’s Australian Open and Wimbledon, and the third round of the US Open but had a bad day at the office at the worst possible time.
Nothing in her game was working, including her usually lethal serve which was broken by Konta five times. She was moved around the court easily in a loss that was considered a shock to tennis pundits
But she’s out of the 2016 Aussie Open in the first round
Meanwhile on that same Rod Laver Arena court, Serena began the quest for her seventh Australian Open title by knocking off Camila Giorgi of Italy in straight sets 6-4, 7-5 to punch her ticket to the second round where she faced Hsieh Sui-Wei of Taiwan.
She took an hour to cruise to a 6-1, 6-2 straight set victory and move on to her third round match with Russia’s Daria Kasatkina .
Going to be an interesting week Down Under, especially on the women’s side.