19 January - 1 February 2015
Put yourself on court with ReturnServe. From analysing returns on the court to measuring social sentiment. Data is a game changer. IBM.
Put yourself on court with ReturnServe. From analysing returns on the court to measuring social sentiment. Data is a game changer. IBM.
Venus Williams


Jarmila Gajdosova extends an unwanted streak, Jerzy Janowicz survives an unexpected scare and a trio of women's seeds are pushed out the back door. Welcome to Day 1 of Australian Open 2014.

The sun beat down in Melbourne with the temperature soaring to 35 C, but for Gajdosova it must have felt like a blowtorch was being applied as her first-round losing streak ticked over to 0-9 after a 6-3 0-6 6-2 loss to ninth seed Angelique Kerber.

Ekaterina Makarova made herself even less popular in the Williams household by knocking Venus out in the first round. It was Makarova who brought about Serena's downfall here in 2012.

Over on Court 6, and Tour veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm faced off against a player who wasn't even born when she reached her career-high ranking of No.4 in 1995. Twenty-six years and five months separate Date-Krumm and Bencic, but more importantly it was the two sets that 16-year-old Bencic won compared with 43-year-old Date-Krumm's one that was the real difference.

Which brings me to Kirsten Flipkens and our question of the day – what can you do in 50 minutes? For me, 50 minutes is about the time it takes to drive to work. For Kirsten Flipkens today it was enough time to book her place in the second round. The 18th seed ripped through her match against Brit Laura Robson and will next face Casey Dellacqua.

Aussie favourite Dellacqua defeated former world No.2 Vera Zvonareva, who is just beginning her journey back to the top 10 following shoulder surgery and 18 months on the sidelines.

With Robson and Heather Watson both gone on day one, Great Britain's representation, once again, falls to Andy Murray.

Meanwhile, over on the practice courts, everyone was straining for their first glimpse of Fedberg – the coming together of Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg.

It was a mostly safe day for seeds, there were exceptions of course. Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci and Petra Kvitova all failed to see the other side of day one. Kvitova’s loss to 88th-ranked Luksika Kumkhum in three sets the most eyebrow-raising of the bunch.

On the flipside, plenty of seeds breezed through to the second round – Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer, Sam Stosur, Li Na, Ana Ivanovic, Tomas Berdych, Richard Gasquet and Sabine Lisicki among them.

What did you say?
Question: When you say go home, do you mean back to London to play in Europe probably in the next sort of month?

Laura Robson:  Definitely London.  I don't know what other home I have.

It’s going to be a long drive home for …
Jarmila Gajdosova. Jarka has had some horrendous draws over the years and facing ninth seed Angelique Kerber is another tough break for the 26-year-old who is returning from an injury-interrupted 2013.





Saturday, 20 December 2014
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