01/23 00:02 CST The Latest: 2016 Australian Open champion Kerber advances
The Latest: 2016 Australian Open champion Kerber advances
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) --- The Latest on the Australian Open (all times
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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