After the pollution, the rain comes to spoil the Australian Open, forced to postpone many matches scheduled for Monday 20th January
Funny start for the Australian Open: the threat of pollution lifted, it was the rain that completely turned upside down the first day Monday 20th January 2020 in Melbourne, causing the postponement to Tuesday of 32 games scheduled on outdoor courts, without destabilizing the main contenders.
The entries of Caroline Garcia, Fiona Ferro, Pauline Parmentier, Benoît Paire, Ugo Humbert and Corentin Moutet are therefore postponed, only Grégoire Barrère, winner in the pain of the Egyptian Mohamed Safwat (173rd in the world) 6-7 (8 / 10), 7-6 (7/1), 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), having been able to finish their match and qualify.
“It was a complicated game, I didn’t play very well. I was a little tense, I did not move very well. I had a hard time reading his game but I hung on, ”said the 25-year-old right-hander.
Quentin Halys was tied 3 points throughout the first set tie break with Filip Krajinovic when the rain drowned Melbourne.
Fortunately, the three main courts in Melbourne Park have a retractable roof, allowing matches scheduled in these arenas to take place normally.
Even before the rain, defending champion Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams, in quest of a 24th Grand Slam trophy, won their ticket for the second round.
Federer in control
Roger Federer succeeded Serena Williams in the Rod Laver Arena, where he dispatched the American Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in 1h21, claiming to have controlled the match from start to finish with ” margin “.
At the end of the night session, the defending champion Novak Djokovic dropped a set to Jan-Lennard Struff before finally pushing him out of the way 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 2-6, 6- 1 in 2:16.
“It’s good to be back on this court, which has been the most successful in my career, by far,” he said after signing his 900th victory on the circuit.
The Serb, N.2 world, tries to bring to 8 his title record in Melbourne and to 17 the number of his trophies in Major to get closer to Federer (20) and Nadal (19).
But Stefanos Tsitsipas showed on Monday that he was no longer the “child” who failed in the semi-finals last year against Nadal. Demonstrating “maturity” in a match where he “did everything well”, the Greek 6th world swept the Italian Salvatore Caruso (95th) 6-0, 6-2, 6-3.
The first qualified figure was Osaka, 4th in the world, who easily dismissed the Czech Marie Bouzkova (59th), 6-2, 6-4.
“I had never played against her and for me it is always difficult to play someone you do not know in the first round of a Grand Slam,” commented the 22-year-old Japanese.
It was then Serena Williams who made a short performance of 58 minutes to beat the Russian Anastasia Potapova (90th) 6-0, 6-3.
“I started well, but she fought well,” said the 38-year-old American, who won her first title in Auckland on January 12 since the 2017 Australian Open and the maternity period that followed. This year, the one that says it is called in its district “the mom of Olympia”, aims to equal in Melbourne the record of major titles held by Margaret Court (24).
The Australian Open, a time threatened by toxic fumes from the gigantic fires ravaging the country, started well on Monday at 11:00 am (01:00 French time) with air quality deemed “good” by the Melbourne health authorities: 3 on a scale where it was decided to suspend matches from 200.
The fires that have been burning since September have killed at least 29 people and devoured 10 million hectares, an area larger than that of South Korea or Portugal.