Unseeded Bencic Outs Venus Williams
Unseeded, 20 year old Belinda Bencic has knocked out seven-times Grand Slam Champion Venus Williams in the first round of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park. The match was considered the pick of the draw and it turned out to be exactly that. The victory by the Swiss has resulted in this year being only the third time in all of 20 years that neither one of the Williams sisters has reached the second round of a Grand Slam event. Defending champion Serena Williams has opted not to play in this year’s Australian Open due to not being satisfied with her level of fitness.
An elated Bencic reports that she had lost to Venus four times before and that the victory at Melbourne Park felt fantastic. Bencic has won 16 tour matches in a row and is steadily climbing the rankings once more.
Bencic’s low ranking certainly gave away not even as much as a whim of the actual risk that she posed to multiple Grand Slam champion Venus Williams.
A Routine Victory For Nadal
In the men’s division, world no. 1 Rafael Nadal blasted through to round two of the Open in what is very much considered to be a routine win over Victor Estrella Burgos from the Dominican Republic. The match was Nadal’s first since suffering a bad knee injury in November of last year.
Nadal is now aiming for Grand Slam number 17 and a second one in Australia. He reports that his knee has recovered in full. When asked whether he knew that he was ready to compete in this year’s Open, he responded by saying that he always had his doubts but that he also had the confidence that he was ready to resume playing and that the Australian Open was his tournament of choice in order to do so.
Nadal was beaten by Roger Federer in the Australian Open final of last year and will no doubt be putting up a fight to go all the way this year.
This is the first Grand Slam tournament out of a total of 52 of Nadal’s career that he will be playing without his long-time coach and uncle Toni Nadal supporting him from his box. Toni announced last year that he would no longer be travelling with his nephew but would instead be focusing on the family-owned tennis academy in Majorca.
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