01/23 06:57 CST The Latest: Ballkid is OK, Rafa into 3rd round in Australia
The Latest: Ballkid is OK, Rafa into 3rd round in Australia
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) --- The Latest on the Australian Open (all times
Rafael Nadal had a scary moment in his second-round win over Federico Delbonis
--- when his wayward forehand hit a ballkid in the head.
He gave her a kiss on the cheek and apologized. After the match he gave her his
headband before saluting the crowd.
"Have been one of the more scary moments I've had on the tennis court --- the
ball was quick, and straight on (her) head," he said. "I was so scared for her.
Very happy that you're good. You're very brave, so well done."
Nadal's 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-1 victory was tough. He'd dropped only 10 games in
three previous wins over the left-handed Argentine.
The first two games on Rod Laver Arena took 18 minutes , with Nadal missing six
breakpoint chances before Delbonis held for 1-1.
The top-ranked Nadal converted one of nine breakpoint chances in the 1st set
and none of nine in the second, but converted two from two in the third.
He'll next play fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, who beat Peter Gojowczyk
Danielle Collins is out of the Australian Open in the second round a year after
making her Grand Slam breakthrough with a run to the semifinals at Melbourne
The 26th-seeded American bowed out Thursday with a 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 loss to Yulia
Putintseva of Kazakhstan.
Collins had never won a match in five tries at Grand Slam tournaments until her
surge to the final four in Australia in 2019. She won five matches in a row to
get that far, including upsets of three seeded opponents.
Taylor Fritz's 4-6, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-2 comeback victory over two-time
Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson gives the United States five men in the
Australian Open's third round for the first time since 2008.
The 29th-seeded Fritz has never been further at a major tournament. This was
the second time in his career that he has managed to win a match in five sets
after dropping the opening two.
He joined American men John Isner, Sam Querrey, Tenny Sandgren and Tommy Paul
in the round of 32.
Isner won in straight sets Thursday and next faces three-time major champion
Stan Wawrinka, while Fritz will play No. 5-seeded Dominic Thiem.
The other trio advanced Wednesday. Querrey and Sandgren meet each other Friday
for a berth in the fourth round, while Paul will play Marton Fucsovics of
Wawrinka, the 2014 Australian Open champion, defeated Andreas Seppi 4-6, 7-5,
6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
Nick Kyrgios composed himself after a third-set lapse in which he lost five
straight games to beat Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 and advance to the third
round at the Australian Open.
Kyrgios led by two sets and 4-2 before the veteran French player rallied and
took the match to a fourth set, heightening the tension for a parochial crowd
at Melbourne Arena.
When he finally set up triple match point with his 27th ace, No. 23-seeded
Kyrgios put his finger to his ear to indicate he wanted to hear more noise and
the crowd responded with a raucous cheer. Two points later, he closed with
another ace, turned around to face the crowd behind the baseline and let out a
The mercurial Australian has pledged $200 to bushfire relief for every ace he
serves this month, and so the tally is mounting.
Wimbledon champion Simona Halep has beaten British qualifier Harriet Dart 6-2,
6-4 to advance to the third round.
Halep ended 2019 ranked fourth, her sixth consecutive year-end top five finish.
She will next play either Danielle Collins or Yulia Putintseva.
It was a difficult start to the day with showers and with outdoor courts that
needed to be washed with high-pressure hoses because of overnight rain combined
with a dust storm to the northwest of the city. The weather improved and
organizers were getting through the bulk of singles matches, although 13
doubles matches had to be postponed.
Two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem broke local wild-card entry Alex
Boult's serve in the third game of the fifth set and advanced to the third
round with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-2 win.
Seventh-seeded Alexander Zverev also advanced about the same time with a 7-6
(5), 6-4, 7-5 win over Egor Gerasimov. Zverev has pledged $10,000 toward the
bushfire recovery effort in Australia for every match he wins in Australia, and
promised to donate his full prize money if he claims his first major title this
year in Australia.
Zverev had plenty of support on Rod Laver Arena. Fifth-seeded team had to deal
with a partisan crowd on another covered court at Melbourne Arena, but enjoyed
"It was a tough match. Alex played great, with great crowd support. Great fun,"
Thiem said. ""It's nice to play with such atmosphere.
Venus Williams is not quite done at the Australian Open.
The owner of a total of 23 Grand Slam titles -- seven in singles, 14 in women's
doubles with younger sister Serena, two in mixed doubles -- has entered the
mixed competition at Melbourne Park.
She hasn't won a mixed doubles championship at a major in 22 years, when she
and Justin Gimelstob took home the trophies from the 1998 Australian Open and
Her partner this time is Juan Sebastian Cabal.
He is currently ranked No. 1 in men's doubles after winning Wimbledon and the
U.S. Open in 2019 with Robert Farah, who was provisionally suspended by the
International Tennis Federation this week pending a disciplinary hearing after
failing a drug test.
The 39-year-old Williams was eliminated in the first round of singles in
Australia on Monday by 15-year-old Coco Gauff.
Williams was the oldest entrant in women's singles; Gauff was the youngest.
Angelique Kerber is through to the third round after beating Australian
wild-card entry Priscilla Hon 6-3, 6-2.
At Melbourne Park in 2016, Kerber became the first German woman since Steffi
Graf in 1999 to win a Grand Slam singles title. She won the U.S. Open later
that year and Wimbledon in 2018.
Kerber will next play either Svetlana Kuznetsova or Camila Giorgi.
It's been two full years since CiCi Bellis was healthy enough to participate in
a Grand Slam tournament.
And now, four arm operations later, the 20-year-old Californian is back --- and
has beaten a seeded opponent to reach the Australian Open's third round.
Bellis eliminated No. 20 Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4 on
Bellis was a teen prodigy, winning a U.S. Open match at age 15 and reaching No.
35 in the rankings at 17. All the time away from the tour because of injuries
has her at No. 600 right now, but she was able to get into the draw at
Melbourne Park via the protected ranking rule.
Fourth-seeded Daniil Medvedev needed a medical timeout for a nose bleed before
beating Spanish qualifier Pedro Martinez 7-5, 6-1, 6-3 and advancing to the
The U.S. Open finalist called for a medical timeout while leading 5-0 in the
second set and needed treatment to stop the bleeding.
Medvedev fended off four breakpoint chances to hold in the sixth game of the
third set, and finished off strongly.
Second-seeded Karolina Pliskova continued her strong recent form at the
Australian Open by advancing to the third round with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Laura
"I'm happy to get through --- this was an ugly match for me," she said.
Last year at Melbourne Park, Pliskova lost to eventual champion Naomi Osaka in
the semifinals after saving four match points to beat Serena Williams in the
The rain at Melbourne Park has abated and play is underway on about half the
outdoor courts after they had to be washed down due to an overnight dust storm.
Rain and an overnight dust storm from the northwest of Melbourne is playing
havoc with the Australian Open schedule.
First heavy morning showers delayed play on all outside courts. That combined
with an earlier dust storm left a layer of red on some outside courts, making
them unplayable in the morning.
Melbourne Park staff used high-pressure hoses to clean court surfaces before
light rain showers began falling in the early afternoon, forcing officials to
close the roofs at the three main arenas. The rain became heavier later, and
suspended play in the only two matches that had started on outside courts.
In the first completed match at Rod Laver Arena, two-time Grand Slam singles
champion Garbine Muguruza beat Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
Sixth-seeded Belinda Bencic and Donna Vekic have advanced to the third round at
Melbourne Park. Bencic beat 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 7-5, 7-5
while the 19th-seeded Vekic defeated Alize Cornet 6-4, 6-2.
Heavy morning rain showers delayed play on the outside courts from at least 90
minutes to up to three hours. Play began on schedule as well on the other two
venues with retractable roofs --- Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena.
Top-seeded Rafael Nadal was scheduled to play the second night match at Rod
Laver Arena against Federico Delbonis. Local hope Nick Kyrgios was also set to
play a night match at Melbourne Arena against French veteran Gilles Simon.
The rain stopped late morning and the weather is mostly cloudy with gusting
Morning rain has delayed the start of play on outside courts at the Australian
Open by one hour.
The sun was shining and the rain had cleared at Melbourne Park when play
started on the three covered arenas but the outside courts were still wet from
from earlier heavy showers.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza opened play at Rod Laver Arena
when she took on Ajla Tomljanovic. Top-seeded Rafael Nadal was scheduled to
play the final match on the same court against Federico Delbonis.
The forecast was for clear but windy conditions for the remainder of the day.
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