2020 Australian Open: Coco Gauff Beats Venus Williams, Serena, Djokovic, Barty and Federer Win on a Rainy Day One
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(January 20, 2020) Fifteen-year-old Coco Gauff defeated seven-time major champion Venus Williams 7-6(5), 6-3 in the first round of the Australian Open in Melbourne Park on Monday. It was the US teenager’s second win over Williams, the first one coming back in the first round of Wimbledon last summer, when the Floridian was making her debut in the main draw of a major.
“I just want to say thank you guys, you guys were chanting my name and I only thought that would happen at the US Open,” Gauff said to the crowd after the match in Margaret Court Arena. It was something she thought would only happen at the US Open.
Defending champion Naomi Osaka began play in Rod Laver Arena, winning the last four straight games to close out Marie Bouzkova 6-2, 6-4.
Serena Williams began her quest for a 24th major title with a decisive 6-0, 6-3 win over teenager Anastasia Potapova. The American needed only 19 minutes to win the first set.
Williams captured her first title since becoming a mother in Auckland less than two weeks ago.
“I hadn’t been able to win as a mom, so it was nice to finally be able to win a tournament with a 2-year-old now,” she said.
Roger Federer advanced to the second round. The third seed blew past Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
“I haven’t played proper matches in many, many weeks, and probably 95% of the guys are coming here with matches,” said 38-year-old Swiss, who did not play in the ATP Cup or any Australian Open warm-up events. Federer is seeking his seventh Australian Open title.
Other seeded men advancing to the second round included (6) Stefanos Tsitsipas, (8) Matteo Berrettini, (18) Grigor Dimitrov and (30) Dan Evans.
In the night session, both No. 1 seeds needed an extra set to put away opponents in Rod Laver Arena- Ashleigh Barty needed three sets and defending champion Novak Djokovic needed four sets to advance. No. 1 seed Barty overcame a rough start to overwhelm 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 Lesia Tsurenko.
Djokovic survived a bit of a test in the the third set to move past Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (5), 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.
Other seeded players advancing among the women included No. 7 Petra Kvitova No. 13 Petra Martic, No. 14 Sofia Kenin, and No. 25 Ekaterina Alexandrova. 2018 champion Caroline Wozniacki, playing in her last event before retiring advanced to the second round with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Kirstie Ahn.
No. 13 seed Denis Shapovalov is out of the Australian Open after losing to No. 67 Marton Fucsovics 6-3, 7-6 (7), 6-1, 7-6 (3). Shapovalov was given a code violation after throwing his racquet in the third set.
No. 25 seed Borna Coric fell to American Sam Querrey in straight sets.
For the second time in three years, Zhang Shuai defeated No. 24 Sloane Stephens in the first round of the Australian Open. Zhang knocked out the 24th seeded Stephens 2-6, 7-5, 6-2, just hours before her 31st birthday. Zhang was treated to a birthday serenade by the fans.
No. 32 seed Barbora Strycova lost to Sorana Cirstea in straight sets. Cirstea will face Coco Gauff in the next round.
More than 30 matches had to be delayed until day 2 due to heavy rains throughout the day.