Tennis Channel Live: Australian Open Draw Breakdown
Before every day's game at the Australian Open, we preview three must-see matches.
There has been a feast or famine for Stephens in Melbourne. In 2013 she beat Serena Williams on her way to the semi-finals, but she has not won a match Down Under since 2014. Her last three trips have net three first round losses. Surely, Sloane will stop that futility against the 91th ranked Townsend when they meet at Margaret Court Arena on Monday, right? Don't count on it. Stephens comes from a 6-0 third-segment defeat in the hands of Yulia Putintseva in Sydney and while 22-year-old Townsend has not yet done well on the great potential she showed as a junior-winning Aussie Open Girls title 201
It is the first day of the Grand Slam season, and of course we have our first scheduling controversy. So many ask: Why would Australian open officials send Murray out to Melbourne (formerly Hisense, formerly Vodaphone) Arena, the third show because of what could be his last professional match? It's a legitimate question: Murray is a three-hour champion and a five-year Australian Open finalist, and he can finish his Hall of Fame career at a court that doubles as a cycle path.
But what is done is done, and now it is up to Murray to give a chance to come back to Rod Laver Arena. It won't be easy. Murray is only 5-4 in his last 10 games, and he admits that he can only "play up to a certain level" due to chronic hip pain. In his first tournament of 2019, in Brisbane, he went down in quite a routine manner to Daniil Medvedev. At the same time, the 30-year-old Bautista Agut will come from perhaps the best sustainable achievement in his career; Last week in Doha, he beat Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych to win the title. If your body is injured, the standing RBA is not the guy you want to meet in a fifty-set on a hard court. Winner: Bautista Agut
Once or twice a year, Istomin emerges from obscurity brand colored glasses in place – to boast a horror to a top player on a slam. The 32-year-old Uzbek (he is of Russian descent) has weapons that are lethal enough to drive anyone around, but too irregularly to do it too long deadly, that is, to win him a set but not lethal enough to win him three . The big exception to this rule came at this event in 2017, when he threw enough haymakers to survive a long five-set against Novak Djokovic in the second round.
Can the lightning Istomin style hit twice in the same court? It's doubtful. Federer is 6-0 against Istomin, who has lost his last three games, is currently ranked 93th and who spends most of his time at the Challenger level. It is true that the last two times they played, Istomin won the first set before Federer came back to win in three. But the two games happened in 2013 and 2014; If anything, Federer is better now than he was then. Istomine is almost certainly not the guy Federer would have chosen to meet to begin his defense in Melbourne. But while he can give up a set, he probably won't give up three. Winner: Federer