After a 50-minute third set, Safiullin averts the impending defeat and wins the third round 7:5. So before 9:30 a.m. there won’t be an appearance by Germany’s number one among the women.
Tie-break in the second
In a hard-fought second set, Molcan wins the tie-break 11:9, first gives away three set balls and then defends three himself before using his fourth. Depending on the direction in which this match goes, it’s all over after the next set and the ladies can go onto the court – we’ll be in touch after set number three.
Update from the Kia Arena
Alex Molcan won the first set 6:3 and is one step closer to the second round, but lucky loser Roman Safiullin successfully starts the second round, which has been running for a few minutes. We’ll keep you posted on how the match is progressing and when we can expect Kerber to start.
The balance of both players in the direct duel is also balanced. It’s 2-2, with Kanepi winning the first two meetings and Kerber the last two. It remains to be seen how meaningful these matches are, because the last duel was eight years ago.
Kaia Kanepi, now 36 years old, has her best time in the tennis circus behind her, but is still considered a serious opponent, especially at the start of a major, the Estonian is anything but a pleasant hurdle. The former world number 15 is now outside the top 100 and only plays in smaller tournaments at ITF level. But she can still be found at the really big tournaments, so she took part in all Grand Slams in 2021 and was also found at one or the other Masters. The Estonian even had a fantastic week in Melbourne last year and surprisingly advanced to the third round. She enjoys the reputation of becoming a stumbling block in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament, because her record in such games against seeded opponents is 8:8.
But then we use the time to take a look at the German number one, who has worked her way back into the top 20 in the world rankings and is seeded 16th at this tournament, ending up in the bottom tableau – in the round of 16 would threaten the world number two Aryna Sabalenka, but there is still a long way to go. Especially since Kerber’s fitness level is not 100 percent clear. Since the second half of 2021, the Kiel native, who was born in Bremen, has played a role in world tennis again, won the title in Bad Homburg and then reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon. She also achieved good results at the US Open and in Indian Wells. She actually wanted to start the new year in Sydney, but a week after the start of the season, Kerber fell ill with Corona and had to cancel her plans, fortunately the Australian Open was not at risk, but she lacks match practice before the first round duel.
The men’s match is on
The court is played and Alex Molkan presents against his Russian opponent, takes a 4-1 lead in the first set after a good 20 minutes. It remains to be seen whether this will be such a clear matter for the entire match. Especially in Grand Slams, these long waiting times before the scheduled match are always a challenge for players, but often difficult to avoid, especially in the first round.
Because the first match on the court alone between the American Robin Anderson and the local hero Sam Stosur, former US Open winner and number four in the world, lasts two and a half hours. To the delight of the audience, the Australian prevailed in three sets. Youngster Jannik Sinner then swept over Joao Sousa in just under two hours, but there is still another men’s match on the schedule before we see Kerber-Kanepi. The plan was actually for number eight on the seed list, Casper Ruud, to play against Alex Molcan, but the Norwegian had to pull out at short notice and Roman Safiullin replaced him. This match will start in a few moments, so our women’s encounter will usually be postponed to at least 8:00 a.m.
Hello and welcome to day two of the Australian Open. The first round is still on the program and today the German number one of the women starts the race: Angelique Kerber meets the Estonian Kaia Kanepi in the Kia Arena. However, the scheduled start of 6:30 a.m. is missed by a long way.