Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Sakkari, and Amanda Anisimova earned first-round victories at the 2024 Australian Open. For Wozniacki, the return to Melbourne was a sweet one. The 2018 Australian Open champion who retired after playing the 2020 Australian Open is beloved by the crowd. The Dane defeated Magda Linette who was forced to retire down 2-6 and 0-2 with an injury. Wozniacki is relieved to get the win, but no one wants their opponent to be injured including Wozniacki, 33, who is friends with Linette, 31.
Greece's Maria Sakkari got off to a positive start with a straight set win over Nao Hibino, 6-4, 6-1. Sakkari's best finishes in Melbourne were in 2020 and 2022 when she advanced to the fourth round. She had a disappointing 2023 season in Grand Slam competition that rattled her confidence. Hopefully, this is an early sign that 2024 will be more successful for her.
American Amanda Anisimova earned an impressive first round win over 13th seed Liudmila Samsonova in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. Anisimova took a break from tennis for most of 2023 for mental health reasons and returns with the same great game. The 22 year old advanced to the fourth round in the 2019 and 2022 Australian Open. It is wonderful to see her healthy and happy and back on the court.
First round Australian Open action continues
This is the first year the Australian Open begins on Sunday instead of the traditional Monday start. That means the first-round matches are spread over three days from Sunday to Tuesday instead of Sunday and Monday. As a result, Elena Rybakina, Coco Gauff, Jessica Pegula, and other top players have yet to take the court.
Australian Open television coverage is available on ESPN channels as well as the ESPN+ app. The tournament concludes on January 28.