In the very first match of the 2017 Australian Open we already had a major upset on the women’s side, as fourth seed Simona Halep got crushed by Shelby Rogers on Rod Laver Arena, while world number one Angelique Kerber didn’t have a smooth ride against Lesia Tsurenko, but made her way to the second round.
Looking sporty chic in her mystery blue Adidas Melbourne Tank and navy shorts with orange binding, Halep was again troubled by a knee injury that affected her at the Shenzhen Open earlier this month, and the Romanian suffered a straightforward 6-3 6-1 loss. The world No.52 Rogers started reviving the memories from the 2016 French Open, where she made the quarterfinals with victories over big names such as Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova. The American never dropped serve against Halep, who made her second straight first-round exit at the Australian Open.
During the night session on the same court, Kerber successfully started her title defense, although it wasn’t trouble-free. The world No.51 Tsurenko recovered from 5-3 down in the second set, saved a match point and converted her fifth set point in a 10-minute 12th game to force the third set. The 28-year-old Kerber managed to overcome Tsurenko’s great effort, breaking her serve twice in the third set for a 6-2 5-7 6-2 victory.
Surviving a scare was also the 2003 Australian Open runner-up Venus Williams, who edged Kateryna Kozlova 7-6(5) 7-5. Garbine Muguruza advanced to the second round with a 7-5 6-4 win over New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic, despite needing a medical timeout after the first set to re-tape her foot.
Get women's tennis updates to your inbox.