Two of the biggest names in women’s tennis opened the defence of their Australian Open titles with straight-set victories on day one at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Monday. 17 seed Caroline Garcia opened her 2022 campaign with a 6-2, 6-4 scoreline over lucky loser Kamilla Rakhimova while Maria Sakkari survived a scare as she advanced with a three sets victory in early women’s singles action here.
17 seed Caroline Garcia beat lucky loser Kamilla Rakhimova 6-2, 6-4 in the first round of the US Open. Maria Sakkari also won in three sets.
Sakkari returned to the US Open on Monday, where she had a very successful tournament last year. She won her first match of the year against Tatjana Maria of Germany.
A high ball from the middle of the court caught Rakhimova off guard, and her return was very aggressive. She also won points from both sides, which allowed her to take a 4-0 lead.
Garcia played very well, with two holds to love. It took Rakhimova 18 minutes to get a game, but Garcia was still in charge.
The umpire called a let on an ace by Garcia, but Garcia didn’t hear it and celebrated. Back to the baseline, Garcia won the next two points to take a 6-2 lead.
The power play, moving up the court, and net play was all on the song and the pressure finally took hold on the world No. 90. At 2-2, Garcia connected with a backhand return on the stretch, read her opponent’s reply and hooked a forehand pass for a pivotal break.
Down 15-30 in the next game, Garcia stood firm. He skipped forward to clip away an acute volley and fend off any danger of a potential comeback.
In 2021, Sakkari played very well in the semifinals, but she still lost to eventual teenage champion Emma Raducanu.
No. 3 seed beat No. 103 seed in a tennis match on Monday. This was the first time they had played each other since the No. 103 seed beat the No. 3 seed in the third round at Wimbledon earlier this summer. The No. 3 seed won Monday’s match, evening the scorecard to 2-2 head-to-head.
Maria won the first set by using different types of slice shots to make the rallies slower and more even. She did this by making the ball spin more, which confused Sakkari and made her unable to hit the ball as hard.
The second set was the same as the first, with Maria leading 4-1. This time, it was Sakkari’s turn to have trouble with her serve, making six double faults. This allowed Maria to take the set and make it a third set.
Sakkari took some tips from her coach and won all six games in the final frame, booking a spot in the second round.
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Fred Cole is a seasoned news reporter with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has worked for some of the biggest news outlets in the country, including the Associated Press and CNN.