Recap of Day 2 at the Australian Open

By | 3 minute read | January 17, 2017

2017 Australian Open – Day 2 Recap

 

Women’s Upsets

18th seed Samantha Stosur once again fell early in her home Grand Slam event, losing to Heather Watson 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 in 2 hours 15 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.  It was Stosur’s two biggest weapons, her first serve and her forehand, let her down against Watson.  Stosur won just 55% of her 1st serve points and made 31 forehand unforced errors.  In the final set Stosur won just 9 of 24 first serve points (38%).

25th seed Timea Babos fell to American Nicole Gibbs 7-6(3), 6-4 in 1 hour 43 minutes on Court 20.  Gibbs overcame inconsistent serving (just 43% first serves in play) by dominating the points when she did hit her 1st serve in (26 of 32 points won – 81%) and saving 3 of the 5 break points she faced.  Gibbs did win the battle of consistency from the baseline as she made 31 total unforced errors compared to 51 from Babos.

Key Women’s Results

Lucie Safarova, ranked number 5 in the world just 16 months ago, now ranked 62nd, had to overcome 9 match points to advance to the 2nd round over Yanina Wickmayer 3-6, 7-6(9), 6-1 in 2 hours 7 minutes on Show Court 3.

Serving at 5-6 in the 2nd set, Safarova got down 0-40 on her serve.  She saved 3 straight match points and had to save 2 more to reach a tiebreak.  Wickmayer jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the tiebreak and had 3 consecutive match points from 6-3.  Safarova saved 2 of them with aces and Wickmayer made a forehand error to even the tiebreak at 6-6.  Wickmayer took the lead again 7-6 giving her a 9th match point before Safarova ran off the last 3 points of the tiebreak to take it 9 points to 7.

Safarova cruised in the final set as Wickmayer had given all she had trying to win the match in straight sets. Safarova finished up with 16 aces, 41 total winners and 35 unforced errors. But it’s her performance on those 9 match points that stand out:

Safarova when facing match point

  • 8 of the 9 were on her own serve
  • 1st serves in play (6 of 8 – 75%)
  • 3 aces and 1 service winner
  • 7 total winners in the 9 points
  • twice she came back from triple match point down

Key Men’s Results

2nd seed Novak Djokovic started his title defense with a straight sets win over Fernando Verdasco who had 5 match points against Djokovic just 2 weeks ago in Doha.  Djokovic advanced 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-2 in 2 hours 20 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.  It was Verdasco’s biggest weapon, his powerful forehand, that let him down.  He hit 10 forehand winners but made 35 forehand unforced errors as Djokovic dominated the baseline play.  Djokovic won the battle of forehands hitting 12 forehand winners and making only 16 forehand unforced errors.

 

Verdasco Forehand Fiasco    FH Winners     FH Unforced Errors

Fernando Verdasco                        10                                    35

Novak Djokovic                              12                                    16

 

20th seed Ivo Karlovic needed 5 hours and 15 minutes to prevail from 2 sets down to defeat Horacio Zeballos 6-7(6), 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 22-20 on Court 19.  Karlovic hit 38 aces in the final set alone – 75 total aces for the match and saved 3 of the 4 break points he faced.  The only break of his serve came when he double faulted on break point at 3-4 in the 2nd set.   Here’s a look at just how big the 6 foot 11 inch Karlovic served in this marathon match:

Ivo Karlovic – Serving Big

Aces – 75

1st serve points won – 127 of 140 (91%)

2nd serve points won – 44 of 73 (60%)

Unreturned serves – 115 of 201 (57%)

* Karlovic lost a total of 42 service points in 41 service games and a tiebreak.

Men’s Upsets

28th seed Feliciano Lopez fell to Fabio Fognini 7-5, 6-3, 7-5 in 2 hours 3 minutes on Court 20. Fognini won the battle of consistency and 2nd serves.  Lopez made 59 total unforced errors – Fognini made 35 unforced.  Fognini won 61% of his 2nd serve points and 61% when Lopez had to hit a 2nd serve.  Lopez was under constant pressure on his serve as Fognini created 28 break point chances.  Lopez fought off 22 of those 28 but the 6 breaks of serve proved to be too many to overcome.

Women’s first round by the numbers

2 – Women who did not face a break point in the first round

3 – Points lost on 1st serve by Coco Vandeweghe in her upset of Roberta Vinci

3 – Total returns of serve missed by Carla Suarez Navarro (48 of 51 returned)

8 – Aces and return of serve winners by Serena Williams

9 – Match points saved by Lucie Safarova

16 – Aces by Lucie Safarova (3 came when facing match points)

  

Men’s first round by the numbers

1 – Points lost on 1st serve by Grigor Dimitrov (won 46 of 47)

3 – Men who did not face a break point in the first round (Nadal, Dimitrov, Kygrios)

4 – 2nd serve points lost by Rafael Nadal (won 19 of 23)

5 – Retirements in the first round

75 – Aces by Ivo Karlovic