Australian Open day two: Raducanu and Murray progress – as it happened
Let’s take a look at the show court schedule for Wednesday, with Ash Barty, Rafa Nadal, Naomi Osaka and Sascha Zverev all in action.
Rod Laver Arena (from 12am GMT/11am local)
(Q, It) M Trevisan v P Badosa (8, Sp)
(1, Aus) A Barty v L Bronzetti (Q, It)
(Q, Ger) Y Hanfmann v R Nadal (6, Sp)
Night session (from 8am GMT/7pm local)
(US) M Brengle v N Osaka (13, Jpn)
(3, Ger) A Zverev v J Millman (Aus)
Margaret Court Arena (12am GMT/7pm local)
(Fr) H Tan v E Svitolina (15, Ukr)
(Kor) Kwon S v D Shapovalov (14, Can)
(4, Cz) B Krejcikova v Wang X (WC, Chn)
Night session (from 8am GMT/7pm local)
(Q, Chn) Zheng Q v M Sakkari (5, Gre)
(17, Fr) G Monfils v A Bublik (Kaz)
Here’s Emma Kemp on Nick Kyrgios, who gave home fans plenty of entertainment in his win over Liam Broady:
Day two was a very good day for British hopes, with Andy Murray, Dan Evans and Heather Watson all joining Emma Raducanu in winning their first-round matches.A decent day for the hosts, too, with Alex De Minaur and Nick Kyrgios progressing as wild card Sam Stosur rolled back the years.
Elsewhere, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Félix Auger-Aliassime and Andrey Rublev all won, while Aryna Sabalenka fought back to avoid a shock against Storm Sanders. A couple of big names did fall in the women’s draw, with Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber both losing.
Updated at 1.27pm GMT
Stefanos Tsitsipas has booked his place in the second round, making light work of a tricky opponent in Mikael Ymer. He wins 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 and will play 21-year-old Sebastian Baez of Argentina in the second round.
Raducanu looked a little emotional during that interview, and after winning match point – I think getting through that match will mean a lot to her. It would have been easy to fold when Stephens found her game in the second set, but she fought back and passed a test she didn’t face at the US Open – winning a deciding set. Let’s not forget – this was her debut at the Australian Open.
Updated at 1.28pm GMT
Emma Raducanu: “I just want to thank everyone for coming out and staying so late, I really appreciate it! I thought it was a high-quality match, with lots of great rallies. I’m really happy to come through against a great champion like Sloane.”
“It was a tough match up for a first round, her athleticism is really up there – I was working really hard to win points. I’m just so happy to come through it. In the third set, I was really feeling it – the scoreline didn’t really reflect the game.”
Emma Raducanu wins 6-0, 2-6, 6-1!
First set: Stephens 0-6, 6-2, 1-6 Raducanu A poor Stephens return, and a scorching inside-out backhand winner put Raducanu 30-0 up. The finish line is in sight, and an unreturned first serve brings up three match points.
Then, an untimely moth-based interruption and a double fault, the second serve just catching the net cord. Stephens hangs in there with some terrific groundstrokes, and it’s 40-30. Another gruelling rally ensues – but Raducanu wins it with a crafty, cross-court drop shot that Stephens can’t return!
Updated at 12.59pm GMT
First set: Stephens 0-6, 6-2, 1-5* Raducanu (*denotes next server) Some of Raducanu’s defensive shots has been excellent, digging out lost causes and making Stephens play one more shot – which has been enough plenty of times. Raducanu amuses herself with a wild attempt at a cross-court winner, and Stephens finds the line with a winner. The American dodges the double (filled?) bagel – now can she trouble Raducanu on serve?
First set: Stephens 0-6, 6-2, *0-5 Raducanu (*denotes next server) This has been ... an odd match so far. But Raducanu deserves credit for holding firm when Stephens looked to be taking charge. That feels a long time ago now: Stephens looks weary, shoulders down and not getting her footwork right on a couple of points.
At 40-0, a Stephens winner and a double fault crank the pressure up a touch. Raducanu tries to clip the line after a long rally, but it slips wide. Deuce, then unforced error, ferocious winner, unforced error, cross-court fizzer from the mercurial Stephens.
Next, a nervy Raducanu second serve is belted back – but she somehow recovers the ball, and Stephens misses the volley at the net! Raducanu holds, and is 5-0 up in what has felt like a pretty even set.
First set: Stephens 0-6, 6-2, 0-4* Raducanu (*denotes next server) Stephens responds well to a net-cord bounce to edge ahead, but Raducanu moves in on serve to boss the next point. Stephens nets – her 34th unforced error to Raducanu’s 25 – but dominates the next rally, winning with a cross-court volley. An awkward Stephens forehand finds the top of the net, and Raducanu gets the double break with another attacking return!
Updated at 12.44pm GMT
The winner of this match will face Danka Kovinic, the world No 99, in the second round. Get through that, and it’ll probably be Simona Halep in the third round.
First set: Stephens 0-6, 6-2, *0-3 Raducanu (*denotes next server) The pattern so far: Raducanu won the first six games, then Stephens won two, Raducanu two, Stephens four, and now Raducanu two and counting.
At 15-15, second serve, Raducanu chases down a fierce return and gets enough on it. Another big moment, followed up with a dead-straight winner down the line. She gets the hold, waiting patiently for Stephens to slip up in the next rally, and Raducanu is back on top in this match.
First set: Stephens 0-6, 6-2, 0-2* Raducanu (*denotes next server) That felt like a big hold, Raducanu releasing some frustration with a shout to her coaching team. Both players are struggling for consistency, but Raducanu’s defensive work pays off as Stephens slaps a forehand into the net. Break point, converted as Stephens sends a backhand long!
First set: Stephens 0-6, 6-2, *0-1 Raducanu (*denotes next server) Raducanu moves 30-love up but a couple of snatched shots let Stephens back in. The Briton is frustrated, and complains to the umpire about crowd noise distracting her. She produces a big first serve, then gets over the line with a superb defensive slice and a winner at the net.
Stefanos Tsitsipas got the break he needed in the second set, turning a 30-0 deficit around in the ninth game and serving out. He leads Mikael Ymer 6-2, 6-4, 2-1 with another break in the third.
Looking at the scoreline, you might fear that Raducanu has lost her way – but it’s more a case of Stephens finding a much higher level in the second set, having barely turned up for the first. The American will be favourite going into the decider, but will those unforced errors return?
Sloane Stephens wins the second set 6-2!
First set: Stephens 0-6, 6-2* Raducanu (*denotes next server) Sloane Stephens has found her groove now and offers Raducanu very little here, sealing the second set with a fierce forehand. Game very much on!
Updated at 12.28pm GMT
First set: Stephens 0-6, *5-2 Raducanu (*denotes next server) Stephens continues to blow hot and cold, a clinical return winner followed by a wafted backhand. Raducanu is forced to go for a winner down the line at deuce – and it drifts just long. She hangs on to win another hard-fought rally, but Stephens pings a forehand into the corner. Raducanu goes long again, and Stephens will serve for the second set!
“ What has become of Sloane Stephens?” asks Dean Kinsella. “Is it injury or Covid or what?” A bit of both in the last year, and she’s had to overcome bereavements – her aunt died of Covid, and her grandparents died within a week of one another last year. She can still be very good on her day, but has struggled badly for consistency in the last couple of years.
Second set: Stephens 0-6, 4-2* Raducanu (*denotes next server) This could be a big moment – after toiling to 40-30, Stephens gets the better of a tough 21-point rally and lets out a yell. She’s looking much, much better than that dreadful first set.
Updated at 12.06pm GMT
On Rod Laver, Stefanos Tsitsipas took the first set 6-2 against Mikael Ymer – but it’s been a tougher test in the second, the Greek recovering from a break down to level at 4-4. Alex Popyrin ’s hopes are over – he’s lost in five sets to France’s Arthur Rinderknech.
Second set: Stephens 0-6, *3-2 Raducanu (*denotes next server) Some wonky first serves allow Stephens in at 0-30, but Raducanu grinds out the next two points. An unforced error each, then a mistimed backhand from Raducanu offers her opponent a break point. She sends her next forehand long, and Stephens edges back in front – although neither player will be thrilled with how the second set has gone so far.
Updated at 12.06pm GMT
Second set: Stephens 0-6, 2-2* Raducanu (*denotes next server) Stephens appeared to have found some rhythm, but offers up two sloppy points on serve to give Raducanu a chance at 0-30. Another loose shot offers up two break points, but a couple of ambitious shots fly wide. Deuce – but Stephens tries too hard on a cross-court winner and then badly miscues a slice. Raducanu breaks back!
Updated at 12.06pm GMT
Second set: Stephens 0-6, *2-1 Raducanu (*denotes next server) Raducanu could use a hold here, to stop momentum swinging any further. A booming, high forehand down the line doesn’t hurt, and the first serve is back on track in a hold to 15.
Updated at 12.07pm GMT
Second set : Stephens 0-6, *2-0 Raducanu (*denotes next server) That game lasted 15 minutes – almost as long as the entire first set. Stephens began to show what she can do there, and she backs up the break with a hold to 15 as Raducanu sends a return long.
Updated at 12.06pm GMT
Second set: Stephens 0-6, *1-0 Raducanu (*denotes next server) Stephens produces a winner to move 30-15 up, then both players have to wait while a ball boy collects a moth from the court. After that, it’s an errant double fault from Raducanu, and two break points – but she saves both with well-placed serves.
Stephens wafts a return a mile long, but prevails in the match’s longest (26 shots) and best rally so far. She gets another break point as Raducanu misjudges a volley, but fires an ambitious cross-court winner an inch wide. We go to a fifth deuce – but Raducanu serves up two straight double faults, and Stephens has the break!
Sloane Stephens has even less match practice under her belt – she got married, to US footballer Jozy Altidore (once of Sunderland), on New Year’s Day and their honeymoon was spoiled by a bout of Covid. She doesn’t look in the zone today, offering little answer to Raducanu’s attacking style.
Emma Raducanu wins the first set 6-0!
Plenty of pundits were expecting a one-sided affair today, and so it’s proved – but it’s Emma Raducanu who is dominant, breaking for a third time to take the set 6-0. Stephens hasn’t really turned up, but this is still hugely impressive.
First set: Stephens *0-5 Raducanu (*denotes next server) Raducanu races in behind her serve and lands a sliced winner, then powers down two unstoppable serves. Stephens gets the next one back, but it’s smashed back across court. Raducanu leads 5-0 in 13 minutes – a stupendous start.
First set: Stephens 0-4* Raducanu (*denotes next server) Sloane Stephens is certainly lacking intensity early on here – maybe still annoyed about having to take her watch off. Raducanu, on the other hand, has been positive from the off and is hitting clean winners – a looping effort down the line earns the double break!
First set: Stephens *0-3 Raducanu (*denotes next server) Raducanu lost her only warm-up match in Australia 6-0, 6-1 to Elena Rybakina, so expectations for Melbourne were certainly tempered. From that perspective, this has been an encouraging start – despite a double fault, she holds to 15 against a passive Stephens.
First set: Stephens 0-2* Raducanu (*denotes next server) Raducanu starts off aggressively, stepping into the Stephens serve and setting up two break points as her opponent sends a loose forehand long. And she takes it when Stephens nets a backhand!
Updated at 11.25am GMT
First set: Stephens *0-1 Raducanu (*denotes next server) A solid start from Raducanu, firing down a clutch of accurate first serves to hold to love.
We’ll be focusing on this match, but here’s a quick sweep around the courts first – Stefanos Tsitsipas is cruising, 5-1 up on Ymer in the first set. Australia’s Alex Popyrin is a break down in the decider against Arthur Rinderknech. Former champion Angelique Kerber is out, losing 6-4, 6-3 to Kaia Kanepi.
An awkward pre-game moment as the umpire advises Sloane Stephens to take off her watch (I think). The American isn’t happy about it, saying a lot of other players have worn one for the warm-up. After that, Stephens wins the toss and elects to receive first.
Emma Raducanu is making her first grand slam appearance since winning the US Open, and today’s opponent could probably offer some words of advice on adjusting to life as a slam winner. Sloane Stephens was a surprise winner in New York back in 2017 but backed it up by reaching the French Open the following year.
The American has struggled in the last couple of seasons, slipping to world No 65 at present. She’s still a very tough draw in the first round, but perhaps in a way, she’s a better opponent for Raducanu today than an unfancied outsider – the pressure won’t be all on one side of the net.
Tsitsipas has an early break, and leads Mikael Ymer 3-1 in the first set. He beat today’s opponent in straight sets on the way to the semi-finals in Melbourne last year.
Alex De Minaur wins 3-6, 6-3, 6-0, 6-3! The Australian men’s No 1 looked to be in trouble after Musetti took the first set, but he turned things around, and will face Kamil Majchrzak next after the Polish player eliminated Andreas Seppi earlier on.
Next up on Margaret Court Arena: it’s Emma Raducanu v Sloane Stephens!
For anyone out there who would like to listen along to matches with commentary specially designed for those with reduced vision, you can do so via Action Audio . They are offering a new audio service for the Australian Open, using real-time ball monitoring technology and spatial sound design. You can try it out here .
Alex De Minaur is closing in on victory over Lorenzo Musetti. He goes 5-3 up in the fourth set with a cross-court winner. Over on Rod Laver Arena, No 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas is getting started against Sweden’s Mikael Ymer.
That was really impressive from Kyrgios, who hasn’t played a Tour match since September – and Liam Broady can be happy enough with his efforts, too.
Aryna Sabalenka has got through against wild card Storm Sanders, recovering from a set and a break down to win 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. Angelique Kerber is in deep trouble, though – she’s 4-6, 3-5 down to Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi.
Nick Kyrgios: “I had some doubts [if he would play], the last week has been tough in isolation – I couldn’t ask for a better team. I’m so happy to be here again, and to play in front of you guys, it was a lot of fun.
“The first couple of days [with Covid] I was bed-ridden, I didn’t know if I’d be able to play,” he adds. On his next opponent, Daniil Medvedev: “He’s a brilliant player, I’m going to have to play well – I’m not looking forward too much, I’ve got doubles tomorrow!”
Nick Kyrgios beats Liam Broady 6-4, 6-4, 6-3!
Broady is expecting one more shot at the Kyrgios serve, but his opponent has other ideas, stepping on the gas to set up two break and match points – and he takes the first with a whipped, cross-court backhand return. Job done!
Updated at 10.25am GMT
Third set: Broady 4-6, 4-6, *3-5 Kyrgios (denotes next server) Broady is able to get one serve back over the net, and that is returned with interest by Kyrgios – now one game away from victory.
Third set: Broady 4-6, 4-6, 3-4* Kyrgios (denotes next server) There have been positives for Liam Broady – he holds to love here, and his beard-gold-chain-retro-kit combo is among the strongest we’ll see all fortnight. But the fact remains that he’s running out of time to finally break the Kyrgios serve.
Third set: Broady 4-6, 4-6, *2-4 Kyrgios (denotes next server) A pair of holds exchanged, and a couple of trick shots from Kyrgios that don’t quite come off. Kyrgios’ serve wobbled slightly at the start of this set but he’s back in the groove now, firing down aces to move two games from victory.
Aryna Sabalenka is also closing in on the second round – she’s now 5-1 up in the decider against Storm Sanders on Rod Laver Arena.
Third set: Broady 4-6, 4-6, 1-2* Kyrgios (denotes next server) Broady held off Kyrgios on serve and then forced a break point – but he’s under more pressure here at deuce. He nets, and it’s break point Kyrgios – and after a brutal rally, Kyrgios gets a lucky bounce off the net cord. He offers up a hand in apology, but the end result is that he’s four holds away from victory now.
Updated at 10.29am GMT
Sabalenka appears to have got herself out of trouble against Storm Sanders – a well-timed break in the second helped her level, and she’s now a break up in the decider.
Elsewhere, Alex De Minaur has raced to take the third set from Lorenzo Musetti, winning it 6-0. He leads 2-1, while fellow Aussie Alex Popyrin is 2-1 down to Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech.
Third set: Broady 4-6, 4-6, *1-1 Kyrgios (denotes next server) An ill-advised through-the-legs effort from Kyrgios is dispatched by Broady, who then finds a winning return to get to deuce. Signs that Kyrgios has taken his eye off the ball, and it’s advantage Broady as he chases down a fortunate net-cord bounce. Kyrgios lets out a roar as Broady’s return goes long – and he backs that up with a couple more big serves to escape.
So, what’s happened in the men’s draw overnight/earlier today? Well, Daniil Medvedev saw off Henri Laaksonen and awaits the winner of this match. His compatriot, Andrey Rublev also eased through against Gianluca Mager. Jannik Sinner beat lucky loser João Sousa in straight sets while Felix Auger-Aliassime battled back from two sets down to beat Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori.
Marin Cilic, Grigor Dimitrov and Roberto Bautista Agut are all through, but John Isner lost in five sets to Maxime Cressy and Ugo Humbert was beaten by Richard Gasquet . Dan Evans eased past David Goffin, and Andy Murray didn’t do badly either .
Third set: Broady 4-6, 4-6, 1-0* Kyrgios (denotes next server) In both of the first two sets, Kyrgios broke at the first opportunity and served out the set. Can Broady stop him this time? He’s quickly 0-30 down but holds his composure and turns the game around, finishing off with a cross-court winner.
Second set: Broady 4-6, *4-6 Kyrgios (denotes next server) Boom! A cross-court winner. Pow! A brute-force unreturnable serve. Thwack! Another ace to seal the second set. Nick Kyrgios is two sets to the good!
Second set: Broady 4-6, 4-5* Kyrgios (denotes next server) Another service hold for Broady, who will make Kyrgios serve this out at least.
The Aussie men’s No 1, Alex De Minaur , is back in the game against Lorenzo Musetti, taking the second set 6-3 to level things up. A spot of bother for the 2016 champion Angelique Kerber – she’s 4-2 down in the first set to Kaia Kanepi.
Updated at 10.07am GMT
First set: Broady 4-6, *3-5 Kyrgios (denotes next server) A Kyrgios ace whacks a ball-boy on the hip, the kid offering up a stoic smile to show he’s OK. Kyrgios pounces on a net-cord bounce to tuck away a drop shot, then powers down two aces while bantering with the crowd between points. They really should mic him up.
“The Kyrgios-Broady match is a delight,” says Belinda. “Love the spirit it is being played in – credit to both of them tonight so far.”
Absolutely agree, it’s nice to see. Broady has held serve again, and has two more chances to make something happen on the Kyrgios serve.
A big chance missed for Storm Sanders, who was a break up in the second set but has allowed Aryna Sabalenka to break back. Still plenty for the Belarussian to do at 5-7, 3-3 and clearly frustrated with herself.
Second set: Broady 4-6, *2-4 Kyrgios (denotes next server) The second set has followed the same pattern as the first, with Kyrgios breaking immediately and challenging his opponent to break back. No joy for Broady here, who gets to 15-all and is quickly left behind.
Updated at 9.43am GMT
Second set: Broady 4-6, 2-3* Kyrgios (denotes next server) Liam Broady picks up just his fifth point on the Kyrgios serve as his opponent stays in front. In the next game, a big ace from Broady draws a grin from Kyrgios. It feels almost like an exhibition match.
Updated at 9.44am GMT
Let’s have a look at results in the women’s draw today, starting with Garbiñe Muguruza , who eased through early on against France’s Clara Burel. Iga Swiatek outclassed British qualifier Harriet Dart 6-3, 6-0, and Simona Halep was too good for Poland’s Magdalena Frech. No 6 seed Anna Kontaveit is also through after defeating Katerina Siniakova.
There was an emotional win for Sam Stosur against fellow wildcard Robin Anderson and Heather Watson beat Mayar Sherif in three sets. Leylah Fernandez, beaten in the US Open final by Emma Raducanu, lost 6-4, 6-2 to Aussie wildcard Maddison Inglis and Petra Kvitova crashed out to Romania’s Sorana Cirstea .
Second set: Broady 4-6, 1-2* Kyrgios (denotes next server) The bad news for Kyrgios, who has taken complete control here, is that Daniil Medvedev, the de facto No 1 seed, lies in wait in the second round. Broady gets on the board in the second set with a solid hold.
Updated at 9.44am GMT
First set: Broady 4-6, *0-2 Kyrgios (denotes next server) Kyrgios races to 40-0 and then tries a quick underarm serve which lands in the net. He offers an apology to the crowd and then, in the next rally, plays a tweener on his way to securing the hold. He’s having fun out there!
Second set: Broady 4-6, 0-1* Kyrgios (denotes next server) Broady fends off two break points before Kyrgios powers home a return to set up a third. A well-placed winner down the line saves it but Kyrgios wins the next rally. The break is starting to feel inevitable – and Kyrgios gets it when Broady nets!
Updated at 9.44am GMT
A potentially big upset brewing over on Rod Laver, where wild card Storm Sanders has taken the first set 7-5 against Aryna Sabalenka. The No 2 seed rallied from two breaks down but lost her serve again at 5-5 and Sanders, who has never won a singles match here, serves it out!
First set: Broady *4-6 Kyrgios (denotes next server) At 30-15, Kyrgios takes his time, gathers his thoughts and hammers down a wide, unstoppable serve. He follows it up with an ace, and that’s the first set in the books – an exceptional start from a player who has only just recovered from Covid-19.
Not such good news for home hopes on Margaret Court Arena, though – Alex De Minaur has lost the first set 6-3 to Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti.
Updated at 10.27am GMT
First set: Broady 4-5* Kyrgios (denotes next server) Broady, who is sporting a quite spectacular pair of multi-pastel shorts – perfect for strutting down Brighton Beach later – will make Kyrgios serve it out. There have been no cracks in the Australian’s armour so far ...
First set: Broady *3-5 Kyrgios (denotes next server) Broady holds to love – can he cause Kyrgios any problems on his own serve? No, would be the answer – Kyrgios mixing it up and not giving his opponent a sniff. Broady serving to stay in the set ...
First set: Broady *2-4 Kyrgios (denotes next server) Broady is hanging in there, but struggling to make any in-roads on the Kyrgios serve as the home hopeful stays a break up.
Here’s more on Andy Murray’s terrific first-round victory:
First set: Broady *1-3 Kyrgios (denotes next server) Kyrgios has his first serve motoring, clinching the hold with a 225kph ace.
On Rod Laver Arena, Aryna Sabalenka had slipped two breaks down to Aussie outsider Storm Sanders – but has one break back to trail 4-2 in the first set.
First set: Broady 1-2* Kyrgios (denotes next server) An important hold for Broady, who may not have expected his opponent to start so fluently. Broady beat Russia’s Roman Safiullin in his final qualifer – but Safiullin is in the draw too as a lucky loser, and currently 2-1 down to Alex Molcan in what looks an easier assignment.
Updated at 9.27am GMT
First set: Broady *0-2 Kyrgios (denotes next server) A straightforward hold for Kyrgios, who looks very much up for this, posturing between points and bossing affairs early on.
Updated at 8.38am GMT
First set: Broady 0-1* Kyrgios (denotes next server) Kyrgios has been short of match practice but allays any early fears for the home crowd with an immediate break, revving up the fans after a Broady lob goes long.
Elsewhere, an impressive victory for Dan Evans , who follows Murray into the second round with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-0 success over David Goffin.
Updated at 8.42am GMT
Let’s have a quick look around the courts: on Rod Laver, home wild card Storm Sanders has an early break against the No 2 seed, Aryna Sabalenka. More good news for Aussies hopes next door, with Alex De Minaur a break up on Lorenzo Musetti in the opening set.
Thanks Mike, and hello everyone. The night session is just beginning around Melbourne Park – and next up on the John Cain Arena, it’s only Nick Kyrgios , up against the British qualifier Liam Broady ...
Here’s the full story on that earlier Tennis Australia statement:
And with that I will hand you over to Niall McVeigh, who will see you through the opening stages of the evening session. Cheerio.
Murray continues: “Obviously when we came back last year to play after the enforced break with Covid, we played with no fans in the stadium. It was tough. It is not loads of fun. You know, we train and practice to allow us to play and compete in atmospheres like this on courts like this to entertain you guys and perform in front of you. It’s an incredible atmosphere and I am so happy.”
Asked about what his expectations are for this Open fortnight, he says:
“Hopefully keep improving, there are things in my game I can definitely do better. I would love to have a deep run here if possible. It’s tough but I would like to have a deep run. It’s something I have not had in one of the slams since I came back from the injury and it is something that is motivating me. I play some of my best tennis over the years here, I feel comfortable here and I hope I can do it this tournament.”
And with that, he’s gone, the day session ends, and the night session begins.
Updated at 8.51am GMT
Asked about his opponent, who he also beat at the Sydney International in the run-up to the Australian Open:
“It was a brutal match in Sydney, we played three hours over three sets. I am sure you guys can tell from watching. He hits the ball huge from the back of the court and I had to do a lot of running today, a lot of defending. He is not the sort of guy whose name you want to see next to yours in the draw very often. Obviously a bit of confidence from the win last week, and thankfully managed to get over the line today.”
What a performance from Murray. It was classic Murray, five sets, never making things easy for himself, but a real warrior’s performance. Here he is now, speaking on-court:
“It has been a tough, tough three, four years. Put in a lot of work to get back here. I played on this court many times.The atmosphere is incredible. I have always had fantastic support. This is the one where I thought potentially I had played my last match three years ago, but it is amazing to be back winning a five- set battle like that. Couldn’t ask for any more.”
Murray beats Basilashvili 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4
And now it Basilashvili’s turn for his radar to fail him, indeed it goes completely AWOL as Murray goes 40-0 up and brings up three match points. He needs all three, but he gets there in the end as Basilashvili puts one final ball into the net! Game, set and match Murray, the wildcard!
Updated at 8.24am GMT
Fifth set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(5), 4-5 Murray (*denotes next server) Murray shouts in frustration as his radar fails him and he falls to 30-15 but all his experience shines through as he scrambles back to hold and move within a break of the match and a place in the second round!
Fifth set: Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(5), 4-4 Murray* (*denotes next server) Basilashvili is unlucky on the opening point as the ball clips the tape and bounces out but he fights back and levels at 30-30 as he whips a forehand out of reach of the chasing Murray. A booming serve that Murray can’t return follows, with an ace to finish with!
Fifth set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(5), 3-4 Murray (*denotes next server) Some quick hands from Basilashvili put him 15-0 ahead and when Murray reaches a drop shot only to put the ball out a point later, the pressure mounts on the Scot. His response? The second fastest serve of the day and an ace. But Murray loses the next point - with an unforced error he’s unhappy with himself for making - giving a break chance to the Georgian. An epic, nerve-shredding rally follows which Basilashvili wins with a backhand winner! There is a long way to go still!
Fifth set: Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(5), 2-4 Murray* (*denotes next server) Credit to Basilashvili, he’s refusing to lie down, despite a wobbly moment here at 40-30. He holds his nerve and serve and the spotlight falls back onto Murray.
Fifth set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(5), 1-4 Murray (*denotes next server) Murray returns serve, as it were, with a love service game of his own and that must be a hammer blow for Basilashvili. He needs to find something special now.
Fifth set: Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(5), 1-3 Murray* (*denotes next server) Basilashvili levels the ace count at 12-12 to seal a love service game - sorely needed by the Georgian who had been absolutely steamrolled prior this set.
Fifth set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(5), 0-3 Murray (*denotes next server) Make that nine after a Basilashvili error. Ace - 10. But that’s where Murray’s run ends, as the Georgian finally wins a point with a backhand winner. Still, Murray’s motor is still running and he consolidates that break to open up a three-game lead in the deciding set!
Fifth set: Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(5), 0-2 Murray* (*denotes next server) And Murray’s not messing about here - he breaks to love! That’s eight points straight he’s won since the tie-breaker. There’s life in the veteran’s limbs yet. How does Basilashvili respond?
Fifth set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(5), 0-1 Murray (*denotes next server) So, how will Murray respond to the disappointment of missing the chance to finish this in four? Pretty well, if this love service hold is anything to go by.
Fourth set: Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(5) Murray (*denotes next server) Murray is left visibly frustrated early in the piece after Basilashvili finds the corner with a simply beautiful backhand winner to take a 2-1 lead. The Georgian then throws down an ace, he follows with another forehand winner and all of a sudden he leads 4-1. With it all to do, Murray fights hard but can’t make up the ground and with three chances to claim the set, Basilashvili does so - at the third time of asking and only after Murray finds the net! We’re going into a fifth and final set!
Updated at 9.01am GMT
Fourth set: Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-6 Murray (*denotes next server) We’re heading to a tie-breaker! Murray holds his nerve. Who will hold theirs now?
Updated at 7.30am GMT
Tennis Australia 'deeply regrets' impact of Djokovic saga
Tennis Australia has issued a more comprehensive statement regarding the Novak Djokovic saga, saying it “ deeply regrets ” the impact it had on players in the build-up to the Open and that “ there are always lessons to learn ”.
Here’s the full statement:
The board of Tennis Australia, supported by its Member Associations, would like to issue the following statement in relation to Australian Open 2022. We would like to make clear from the outset that we respect the decision of the Immigration Minister and the finding of the Federal Court of Australia over the weekend.
Australian Open 2022 has now commenced, and our priority has always been to put on one of the world’s greatest sporting events and ensure we are delivering the best possible experience for all our players, the fans, and the community. The Australian Open is a showcase of Melbourne and Australia and much loved by players from all over the world.
Tennis Australia has been working closely with both the Federal and Victorian government for the past year to deliver a Covid safe Australian Open for the players, staff, and fans.
Embarking on a major international sporting event during a global pandemic that continues to evolve and challenge us all, is profoundly demanding for all stakeholders.
The board and member associations commend the Tennis Australia CEO and the entire Tennis Australia team for their hard work and dedication to delivering a spectacular summer of tennis.
As the Australian tennis family, we recognise that recent events have been a significant distraction for everyone, and we deeply regret the impact this had on all players.
There are always lessons to learn, and we will review all aspects of our preparation and implementation to inform our planning – as we do every year. That process always starts once the Australian Open champions have lifted their trophies.
Australia has a strong and proud tennis tradition, and it has been fantastic to see the crowds out cheering for the world’s best players in the lead up to and over the opening days of the Australian Open.
We, like the players, and all tennis fans here and around the world, are keen for the focus to now be on the game we are all so passionate about.
We are looking forward to a brilliant two weeks of tennis ahead.
Updated at 7.27am GMT
Fourth set: Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-5 Murray* (*denotes next server) Basilashvili keeps his cool, despite the odd wobble. Again the pressure piles onto Murray’s shoulders and he must hold again now or face a fifth set.
Updated at 7.26am GMT
Fourth set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 5-5 Murray (*denotes next server) This is great tennis! Basilashvili makes a rare sortie to the net, from where he plays a neat volley to kick things off, but his decision-making then lets him down when he opts to play a drop shot a couple of points later, that doesn’t make it over the net. He still manages to bring up a set point, but Murray saves it before going on to hold - with a booming ace!
Updated at 7.27am GMT
Fourth set: Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 5-4 Murray* (*denotes next server) This has got five sets written all over it, hasn’t it? Basilashvili holds and Murray’s break will have to wait. The pendulum of pressure swings the Scot’s way now and he’ll have to hold to stay in this fourth set.
Updated at 7.27am GMT
Fourth set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 4-4 Murray (*denotes next server) An anguished shout come from Basilashvili with Murray 30-15 up as the Georgian lashes a crosscourt backhand too wide. He knows that’s going to be costly and so it proves as Murray levels things up. Now would be a handy time for the Scot to come up with another break.
Updated at 7.27am GMT
Fourth set: Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 4-3 Murray* (*denotes next server) Murray appears to be tiring now but Basilashvili fails to capitalise. A double fault puts the Georgian in trouble at break point and when an attempted lob goes out on the next point, Murray breaks and we’re back on serve in the fourth!
Updated at 7.28am GMT
Fourth set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 4-2 Murray (*denotes next server) Basilashvili has requested something from the umpire - not quite sure what it is, assume we will find out at the next changeover. The Georgian is moving freely and still hitting his winners on occasion though, notably on points one and two of this game, the second a devastating forehand return of serve. He goes on to bring up break point and another ferocious forehand puts some daylight between him and Murray.
Updated at 7.28am GMT
Fourth set: Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 3-2 Murray* (*denotes next server) Basilashvili noses ahead again, sealing the deal with an ace -his second of this set, and 10th overall.
Updated at 7.28am GMT
Fourth set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 2-2 Murray (*denotes next server) Murray has to dig deep to stave off a break here. He saves a break point before advancing to the net and volleying with devastating outcome on the next. And when Basilashvili finds the net, there’s a sigh of relief in the British wildcard’s camp.
Updated at 7.28am GMT
Fourth set: Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 2-1 Murray* (*denotes next server) The Georgian responds with a relatively comfortable hold of his own. The intensity of the end of the third set has died down a bit for now.
Updated at 7.28am GMT
Fourth set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 1-1 Murray (*denotes next server) On serve this fourth set as Murray holds. Let’s just check in on the unforced error count: Basilashvili leads 63-29 today, a stat that may well prove critical by the end of this match. The Georgian is also winning the winners count - 41-14. He can’t be accused of not going for his shots.
Updated at 7.28am GMT
Fourth set: Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 Murray* (*denotes next server) Murray reaches for his side after stretching on one point in the first game of the fourth set, but he’s continues to move freely afterwards. Basilashvili holds.
Updated at 7.29am GMT
At the changeover, time to quickly check in with last year’s runner-up, Daniil Medvedev , who was playing Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland on Rod Laver Arena. Medvedev, one of the favourites to lift the trophy a week on Sunday, is safely through after a 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(3) win and will next face the winner of tonight’s clash between Nick Kyrgios and Liam Broady.
Third set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-6 Murray (*denotes next server) Murray patiently grinds out a couple of baseline rallies, the second of which brings up two set points. He finishes with an ace! No! It’s a let! They’ll play it again... he goes down the T, but it’s called out. But no bother, on his second service point, Basilashvili hits a backhand wide and the third set belongs to Murray!
Updated at 8.53am GMT
Day three's order of play
Wednesday’s schedule is in. Here’s what’s planned for the main showcourts.
Rod Laver Arena:
Martina Trevisan (Italy) v 8-Paula Badosa (Spain)
1-Ash Barty (Australia) v Lucia Bronzetti (Italy)
Yannick Hanfmann (Germany) v 6-Rafa Nadal (Spain)
Not before 7pm AEDT/8am GMT
Madison Brengle (United States) v 13-Naomi Osaka (Japan)
3-Alexander Zverev (Germany) v John Millman (Australia)
Margaret Court Arena:
Harmony Tan (France) v 15-Elina Svitolina (Ukraine)
Kwon Soon-woo (South Korea) v 14-Denis Shapovalov (Canada)
4-Barbora Krejcikova (Czech Republic) v Wang Xiyu (China)
Not before 7pm AEDT/8am GMT
Zheng Qinwen (China) v 5-Maria Sakkari (Greece)
17-Gael Monfils (France) Alexander Bublik (Kazakhstan)
John Cain Arena:
Tereza Martincova (Czech Republic) v 30-Camila Giorgi (Italy)
Not before 1pm AEDT/2am GMT
Madison Keys (United States) v Jaqueline Cristian (Romania)
Not before 2:30pm AEDT/3:30am GMT
Stefan Kozlov (United States) v 7-Matteo Berrettini (Italy)
10-Hubert Hurkacz (Poland) v Adrian Mannarino (France)
Third set: Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 4-5 Murray* (*denotes next server) Murray wastes a couple of chances to seal the second set and Basilaschvili comes back strong with a couple of moster winners to eventually hold. But Murray will now serve for the second set...
Updated at 7.29am GMT
Third set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 3-5 Murray (*denotes next server) Murray’s serve is on point this game - two aces to kick off with and then a third follows before a fourth booming effort proves unreturnable for Basilashvili. Minimum energy expended there.
Updated at 7.31am GMT
Third set: Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 3-4 Murray* (*denotes next server) Well, Murray looked exhausted during that last game, but he finds enough energy to break back immediately! He gets some help, again, from his opponent, who adds another three unforced errors to his tally, but it doesn’t matter where the points come from, Murray is back in front.
Updated at 7.31am GMT
Third set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 3-3 Murray (*denotes next server) Basilashvili breaks and we’re back on serve after another lengthy game - eight and a half minutes to be exact. Facing a third break point, Murray looks absolutely shattered - he leans on his racket and is then sent running all over the court by Basilashvili, who seals the break with a wonderfully deft drop shot that Murray hasn’t got the gas to reach. The Georgian is leading the winners count by a fine margin now - 33-11.
Updated at 7.31am GMT
Third set: Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 2-3 Murray* (*denotes next server) This is compelling tennis in what could be a pivotal game in the third set! Basilashvili makes a poor decision as he hits a ball that Murray had no right to recover out and the outlook appears bleak for him as Murray brings up three break points. Yet he pulls out a pair of aces to help get himself out of trouble. From their on it’s a mixed bag - including some terrific winners, a dreadful smash into net - before a topsy-turvy game that lasts 10 minutes is finally brought to an end when he finds the net. Murray breaks!
Updated at 7.37am GMT
Third set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 2-2 Murray (*denotes next server) Murray now gets a bit vocal, geeing himself up as he takes a 30-0 lead but the wind is taken out of his sails somewhat by some huge hitting by Basilashvili on the next point. But Murray holds his nerve and holds serve.
Updated at 7.37am GMT
Former finalist Simona Halep is through after a 6-4, 6-3 win over Magdalena Frech on Margaret Court Arena. The Romanian, seeded 14 this year, will play American qualifier Katie Volynets or Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia next.
Third set: Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 2-1 Murray* (*denotes next server) Basilashivili follows suit - he races to a 40-love lead before nosing ahead as Murray’s backhand is an inch too long.
Updated at 7.37am GMT
Third set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 1-1 Murray (*denotes next server) So, Murray serves for the first time in the third set. Oof, that’s a decent game for the Scot, a comfortable hold. And he looks pleased with himself at the end of it.
Updated at 7.37am GMT
Third set: Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3, 1-0 Murray* (*denotes next server) Into the third set we go... Basilashvili holds, despite a wobble with a double fault.
Updated at 7.17am GMT
Big news in the men’s draw: world No 8 Casper Ruud has pulled out after injuring his ankle during a practice session. “I tried everything I could to be ready, but unfortunately I’ve decided that I’m not 100% ready and I will not be able to play 100% like I have to ... That’s the final decision,” said Ruud, who will be replaced in the draw by Roman Safiullin.
Second set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 6-3 Murray (*denotes next server) Murray, needing to hold serve to stay in the set, doesn’t make is easy for himself. An attempted slice goes into net to bring up deuce and he doesn’t recover from there. Such a wildly improved set from the Georgian, whose power hitting really began to find its target.
Updated at 8.54am GMT
Second set: Basilashvili 1-6, 5-3 Murray* (*denotes next server) “Come on Andy” is the cry from the stands as he draws level at 15-15, before Basilashvili is wide on a forehand. But the Georgian’s backhand then takes centre stage as he arrows a ball right into the corner. A huge overhead smash follows - well caught in the deep by a member of the crowd - and a two-game deficit is again opened up.
Second set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 4-3 Murray (*denotes next server) Oh no. Are the errors creeping back into Basilashvili’s game? Three in the last game are followed by another two here. To be fair he punctuates them with a wonderful forehand crosscourt winner but a Murray ace and a backhand winner is enough to see the Scot pull back further.
Second set: Basilashvili 1-6, 4-2 Murray* (*denotes next server) Murray is not content to concede this set just yet - you wouldn’t expect a champion of his standing to do so - and while he can’t capitalise on an initial two break points as Basilashvili’s serve comes to the rescue, the Georgian double faults on a third and Murray is back in this set.
More good news for Australian tennis - wildcard Maddison Inglis is through to the second round after stunning Leylah Fernandez , the runner-up to Emma Raducanu at last year’s US Open, 6-4, 6-2 over on 1573 Arena.
Second set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 4-1 Murray (*denotes next server) Basilashvili is a different player this second set. He’s a lot more patient and he’s putting away some terrific winners. He has a break chance - a double break chance at that - and Murray’s forehand flies into the net to hand the Georgian another breakthrough.
Second set: Basilashvili 1-6, 3-1 Murray* (*denotes next server) Lovely stuff from Basilashvili now, who is really growing into this match and beginning to show why he’s seeded 21. He secures this service game and it’s Murray who leads the unforced error count this set - 7-5.
Updated at 4.55am GMT
Second set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 2-1 Murray (*denotes next server) Much, much better from Basilashvili as he fires a tremendous winner down the line to claim another lengthy rally. It seems to be a pattern that is developing - he repeats the trick a point later to bring up three break points! The Georgian’s errors are drying up as he finds his range, and he breaks for the first time! Murray finds himself in a proper contest now.
Second set: Basilashvili 1-6, 1-1 Murray* (*denotes next server) Murray, for the first time really, is the first to blink on the latest long baseline rally at 15-15. The error-prone Basilashvili should take some confidence from that little win. And he goes on to secure just his second game of the match, finished off with an ace.
Second set: *Basilashvili 1-6, 0-1 Murray (*denotes next server) Murray gives every indication he has no intention of easing off the gas in the second set. He opens with an ace and you know it’s not going well for Basilashvili when he slips on game point, right onto his derriere. He’s OK to continue, thankfully.
First set: Basilashvili 1-6 Murray* (*denotes next server) Hang on Andy, I can’t keep up! Murray wastes no further time or energy on the first set, racing to set point before breaking again, to love to seal the opener in just 23 minutes!
First set: *Basilashvili 1-5 Murray (*denotes next server) Murray grinds down Basilashvili in another lengthy baseline rally to kick off this next game before finishing it off with a lovely backhand slice. Murray can’t do any wrong at this point and looks extremely comfortable, while Basilashvili... 16 unforced errors now.
Updated at 4.36am GMT
First set: Basilashvili 1-4 Murray* (*denotes next server) Murray secures a double break and the 34-year-old bounces off towards his chair at the changeover! He’s very much in control of this opening set. At the same time, make that 13 unforced errors from Basilashvili now.
First set: *Basilashvili 1-3 Murray (*denotes next server) Murray aces at 30-30 and then again immediately after to consolidate that break. Solid service game from the Scot. But Basilashvili isn’t making things easy for himself so far today - he ends game four of the match with a total of nine unforced errors to his name so far.
First set: Basilashvili 1-2 Murray* (*denotes next server) Wahey! Basilashvili attempts to serve but the ball hits the top of the frame of his racket and it pings off skywards! You don’t see that every day in professional tennis. Anyway, it clearly doesn’t help him and a couple of unforced errors give Murray two break points - he grabs his chance as Basilashvili goes long and the Scot edges ahead earlier in this match.
First set: *Basilashvili 1-1 Murray (*denotes next server) There are some vocal fans in the arena today. I don’t speak Georgian but am assuming the bloke who is making himself heard from the stands is a Basilashvili fan. Good start from Murray, who ignores the distractions and secures a love-service game.
Updated at 8.57am GMT
First set: Basilashvili 1-0 Murray* (*denotes next server) Basilashvili kicks off with the ball in his hands, and the pair kick off with a 17-shot rally, eventually won by the Georgian following an unforced error from Murray. Basilashvili holds.
More on Petra Kvitová’ s earlier exit. The Czech, who lost to Naomi Osaka in the 2019 final, says she was undercooked after playing just three matches - after early exits in Adelaide and Sydney - in the run-up to her match earlier today.
“I don’t think I have much to say,” said Kvitová. “It wasn’t really going my way the whole month. That’s how it is. It’s a sport and I just have to fight through and be better at it.”
“I didn’t play a lot of matches at the beginning of this year. I did have some health issues the whole month as well, so it was tough to practice. It wasn’t really easy this beginning of the season, but the season is long, so I hope that it will turnaround.
“This loss is very painful, in the first round after like a whole month. Yeah, on one hand, I’m not surprised really how everything ended. But on the other hand, of course, when I play a match I always want to win.”
There’s a decent crowd over at John Cain Arena as Murray and Basilashvili are introduced onto court. A loud cheer greets the Scot, a popular player at the Australian Open who more often than not has delivered some of his best tennis.
Here’s our man on the ground at Melbourne Park, Tumaini Carayol, on Murray’s preparations:
In the men’s draw, there were no major complications for fifth seed Andrey Rublev , who enjoyed a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Gianluca Mager , while there also wins for Diego Schwartzman, Richard Gasquet and Roberto Bautista Agut , the 15th seed.
Updated at 3.54am GMT
In other results, the former Open finalist Petra Kvitová was sent packing by another veteran, the Romanian Sorana Cîrstea . Kvitová, who was runner-up at Melbourne Park in 2019, bowed out 6-2, 6-2.
Women’s third seed Garbiñe Muguruza had few issues in a 6-3, 6-4 win over Clara Burel to set up meeting with Alize Cornet of France, who beat compatriot Viktoriya Tomova 6-3 6-3.
There was to be no upset on Rod Laver Arena as Iga Swiatek saw off the challenge of British qualifier Harriet Dart in a 6-3, 6-0 win, while 2020 quarter-finalist Anett Kontaveit beat Katerina Siniakova 6-2, 6-3.
Updated at 8.55am GMT
Weather update . Play started this morning with the temperature hovering just under 20C. It’s sunny but cool at the moment - around the 22C mark. Without humidity you could say it’s prefect tennis conditions.
Around the grounds . Let’s have a quick catch-up on what has already happened today at Melbourne Park.
The big news for home fans is that Sam Stosur lives to fight another day. The veteran appeared to be heading towards the exit and retirement from singles tennis when she lost the opening set in her opening match against American wildcard Robin Anderson , but a rousing comeback saw the 37-year-old win 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-3 and secure a place in the second round.
“That was incredible,” she said. “That’s a match I’m going to remember forever. It’s probably one of the best singles matches I’ve played in a very long time and to do it at home today ... I guess it wasn’t going to be the last, so happy to have another one.”
Updated at 3.43am GMT
Here we go again. Day two of the Open is already well under way following a successful opening on Monday, which was met with a degree of relief – given how much the build-up had been overshadowed by he who’s name must now not be mentioned – and served up the usual mix of intrigue and upsets.
Today, the opening round continues with another 60 matches to get through. Coming up is Andy Murray , the five time finalist but never winner at Melbourne Park, who plays familiar foe Nikoloz Basilashvili on John Caine Arena, at 3pm local, 4am in the UK.
That clash promises to be the appetiser for a feast in the evening session, when Nick Kyrgios takes his bow at this year’s tournament at 7pm AEDT/8am GMT. The Australian, as always, will be expected to provide fireworks in his clash against Britain’s Liam Broady , also on the often raucous John Cain Arena.
At the same time, another Australian favourite Alex de Minaur gets his campaign up and running against Lorenzo Musetti on Margaret Court Arena, before US Open winner Emma Raducanu meets Sloane Stephens of the US to round off the evening session.
On Rod Laver, second seeds Daniil Medvedev and Aryna Sabalenka are both in action, with Stefanos Tsitsipas , always a popular figure in Melbourne, to follow. Plus plenty more, of course.