Tuesday witnessed a number of upsets at the Melbourne Park.

The second day of the Australian Open 2022 witnessed two wildcards causing massive upsets. Meanwhile five-time finalist Andy Murray survived a five-set struggle. Murray defeated 21st seed Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4, with the Georgian surviving two match points.

It was “a triumph for the ages,” according to the commentator. This was Murray’s first match at the Australian Open in three years. The World No.113 bid farewell to the event in 2019 after what appeared to be his final appearance. The three-time grand slam winner has maintained his career. Although, he has struggled to match his prior on-court success.

In the second round, Murray will meet Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel.

Aussie stuns with huge boilover

Maddison Inglis became the latest Australian wildcard to pull off an upset. She beat Leylah Fernandez, the runner-up at the US Open last year. Inglis won the opening set 6-4 and swiftly drew ahead of the Canadian in the second, winning the match 6-2.

The 24-year-old was overcome with emotion after the match, fighting back tears. She will now face either qualifier Hailey Baptiste or Caroline Garcia in the second round.

Thompson unravels against injured rival

Meanwhile, world No. 73 Thompson fell to American Steve Johnson in a five-set thriller, 6-7(5), 7-6(6), 6-4, 3-6, 3-6. Thompson lost the opening set 6-7 (5-7) against Johnson but came back to win the next two. It finished off a remarkable comeback for Thompson. She trailed 0-3 early in the third before storming to a 6-4 lead.

However, The fourth set was all Johnson, with the American capturing the first three games. The deficit proved too big for Thompson, pushing the match to a fifth and final set. Johnson won with greater poise than Thompson, who squandered many opportunities and finally double-faulted to seal his fate.

During the match, the American seemed to be suffering from a leg issue. He relied mainly on his forehand wins to get the job done. On the other hand, Thompson was unable to capitalise on that edge.

Another stunning upset

Chris O’Connell defeated Hugo Gaston in Australian Open 2022 (Courtesy: ATP)

Australian star Chris O’Connell defeated French left-hander Hugo Gaston 7-6(7-4), 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 in a stunning performance. O’Connell has won a match at his home Grand Slam for the second year in a row after defeating top-40 German Jan-Lennard Struff in 2021.

This time, the 27-year-old, who was seeded second after Vukic, Ash Barty, John Millman, and Sam Stosur, overcame the disappointment of losing the third set after a breakdown.

Gaston assisted to his fate by hitting a simple volley into the net — after pushing O’Connell out wide to give up the crucial break in the fourth game of the fourth set.

There would be no repetition of the third set, with O’Connell escaping difficulties to set up a second-round meeting with 13th-seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman, who defeated the Serb. His forehand caused the majority of the damage, but he also nailed more than 70% of his first serves, which helped hold his 67th-ranked opponent at bay. O’Connell’s career-high singles ranking of 111 was achieved in September 2020 and is now at No. 175.

Alexei Popyrin will also face Arthur Rinderknech about 5.10 pm. The Australian flavour will go long into the night, with Alex de Minaur, Storm Sanders, and Nick Kyrgios scheduled to play in the evening. De Minaur will be favoured against Italian, rising gun Lorenzo Musetti, while Nick Kyrgios will be looking to clinch a potential rendezvous with Daniil Medvedev when he faces off against Briton Liam Broady. Sanders will face world No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka on Rod Laver Arena.

Stosur’s 19-year first in epic fightback

Sam Stosur’s singles career was extended as the Australian fought to defeat American Robin Anderson 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-3 at the AUstralian Open 2022 . Stosur won the Australian Open after coming back from a set down against Conchita Martinez in 2003. Stosur, 37, revealed that her singles career would come to an end at her home Grand Slam, although she has not done yet.

She will face either Anna Bondar or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second round. Stosur regarded her victory as “one of the greatest” singles matches she has played in a long time.

Rival’s injury blow a boost for de Minaur

Meanwhile, world No. 8 Casper Ruud was forced to withdraw from the Australian Open 2022 due to an ankle injury. Ruud informed the press on Tuesday that he injured his ankle during practice on Sunday and had hoped to be able to compete at Melbourne Park. Ruud’s aim now is to recuperate and take the rest of the week off before returning to Norway.

The in-form 23-year-old had been scheduled to face Slovakian Alex Molcan, who won five ATP Tour championships in 2021 to break into the top 10. It leaves Australian Alex de Minaur as the only seeded player in his half-section, and he is now the betting favourite to make the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time in his career.

Two-time Wimbledon champ Kvitova gone in big upset

Kvitova lost in the first round of the Australian Open 2022 (Courtesy: Nex TV)

Petra Kvitova, the two-time Wimbledon champion, was knocked out in the Australian Open 2022 first round by Sorana Cirstea, 2-6, 2-6. Cirstea ranked No. 38 in the world, defeated Kvitova, a 2019 Australian Open finalist in 72 minutes. Cirstea’s amazing run of form continued, as she defeated the world No. 20 at last year’s Australian Open. It was Cirstea’s first straight-sets victory over Kvitova, who was her own worst enemy with 39 unforced mistakes.

Contender eases through to second round

One of the contenders of the women’s singles crown, Garbine Muguruza advanced to the second round of the Australian Open 2022 with a straight-sets victory on Tuesday. She thus kicked off her quest for a third Grand Slam crown. The third seed from Spain won the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon the following year before a slump in form left her plummeting down the rankings.

Last year, the 28-year-old made a comeback by capturing championships in Chicago and Dubai before winning the season-ending WTA Finals in November. She maintained that form at Rod Laver Arena, where she defeated 77th-ranked Clara Burel 6-3, 6-4 in 88 minutes.

Muguruza broke early in the first set to seize control, as Burel was plagued by poor serving and unforced errors, with the Spaniard breaking again in the ninth game. Burel, who had lost at the first hurdle in both of her previous Australian Open attempts, fought on in front of a small audience. Muguruza dominated the points early in the second set and secured a break in the fourth game to appear to be on her way to an easy victory, only for Burel to break back with an overhead smash as the Spaniard was serving for the match.

The former world No. 1’s greatest result at Melbourne Park was a runner-up finish behind surprise victor Sofia Kenin in 2020. Last year, she was eliminated in the fourth round by eventual winner Naomi Osaka after wasting match points. Alize Cornet, a French veteran, will be her next opponent.

Raducanu wins a huge three-set match to progress in the Australian Open

Emma Raducanu beat Sloane Stephens to make it through to the Australian Open 2022 second round. Raducanu, the reigning US Open champion, qualified for the second round after a tough three-set encounter against American Sloane Stephens, 6-0, 2-6, 6-1.

Raducanu started well with a commanding first set. The 19-year-old earned three major breaks in the first set and appeared to be in control until Stephens stepped up in the second. Raducanu made only two unforced mistakes in the first set, but it was a different story in the second when he racked up a staggering 19 as Stephens broke on three times.

She reminded Margaret Court Arena fans why she’s one of the most intriguing young stars coming through in the deciding set. Raducanu won her first-round match 6-0 against Sloane Stephens after holding her service game and breaking the American twice.

Tsitsipas marches through to the second round

Stefanos Tsitsipas advanced to the Australian Open 2022 second round by defeating Mikael Ymer in three sets, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3. His underdog opponent put up a good fight throughout the match, moving effectively around the court and pulling off some incredible point thefts, but it was the world No. 4 who advanced to the second round. He is one of the major contenders to clinch the men’s singles crown.

Stefanos Tsitsipas won the second set 6-4 over Mikael Ymer. But this was not before his underdog opponent made an incredible point win in the penultimate game. Tsitsipas had Ymer racing from one side of the court to the other. But it was the guy being controlled who won the point, slamming an untouchable forehand down the right side of the court, leaving Tsitsipas astonished. Ymer was making Tsitsipas work hard, but the Greek superstar was possibly just two games away from a second-round place. World No. 4 Tsitsipas was up 4-3 in the third set against Ymer, after winning the first two sets 6-2 and 6-4.

Tsitsipas will play world No. 88, Sebastian Baez, in round two as he continues his quest for his first Grand Slam.

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