Coco Gauff and Elina Svitolina opened up their 2024 Australian Open campaigns with straight-set wins while seventh seed Marketa Vondrousova lost in straight sets. Gauff, the 2023 US Open champion, needed about an hour to defeat Anna Karolina Schmeidlova. The first set was a tricky one with minor service issues for Gauff, but she quickly overcame them winning 6-3, 6-0. She will face fellow American Caroline Dolehide in the second round.
Elina Svitolina took care of business by defeating 18-year-old Australian Taylah Preston 6-2, 6-2. Svitolina had no double faults in the match and maintained a first-serve percentage of 60%. Svitolina was a quarterfinalist at this event in 2018 and 2019 and remains a viable threat to go deep in the two-week competition. She will face Viktoriya Tomova in the second round.
Marketa Vondrouosva lost 1-6, 2-6 to Dayana Yastremska. Yastremska is a qualifier but was previously ranked 21st in the world in January 2020. Vondrousova, the 2023 Wimbledon champion, withdrew from last week's Adelaide International tournament with a hip injury, and it's unclear if that was still an issue for her.
Plenty of first round matches yet to be played
Emma Raducanu plays Shelby Rogers on Tuesday at 12:15 AM EST, and Elena Rybakina faces Karolina Pliskova at 3:00 AM EST. Ajla Tomljanovic and Jessica Pegula have 3:00 AM and 5:00 AM EST matches respectively. Those are the last scheduled first-round matches before the second round gets underway also on Tuesday.
Thus far, through first round play, the top seeds have won their matches relatively unchallenged including defending champion Aryna Sabalenka. Vondrousova's loss is an upset, but given the quality of her opponent and her injury issues within the past week, it is not a shocking result. Will the women's draw be rocked by a big-name player losing in the first round? We will find out in the next two days.