Leylah Fernandez, Barbora Krejcikova, and Alycia Parks advanced in their first-round matches at the 2024 Australian Open. Fernandez, seeded 32nd, opened her Australian Open campaign against qualifier Sara Bejlek. Though there were tight moments in the first set culminating in a tiebreaker, the Canadian kept her nerves in check to win it. She was unstoppable in the second set finishing with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 win. Fernandez ended last season with clutch performances at the Billie Jean King Cup helping Canada win the title, and her confidence and level of play have improved ever since.
2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic started slowly in her match against Mai Hontama. She dropped the first set but rallied in the final two to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. Krejcikova is seeded ninth, and Hontama is ranked 116th. Krejcikova has a higher winning percentage in doubles winning seven ladies' doubles and three mixed doubles Grand Slams. Still, she continues to work on her singles game.
In her first main draw appearance in Melbourne, American Alycia Parks needed three sets to punch her ticket to the second round over qualifier Daria Snigur. After dropping the first set, Parks won the match 2-6, 6-2, 6-4. Parks pulled off the win with a first-serve percentage of 57% compared to Snigur's 80%. Parks will next face Fernandez.
Australian Open first round action continues on Sunday
The last two Grand Slam champions, Marketa Vondrousova and Coco Gauff, seeded seventh and fourth respectively take the court late Sunday evening (USA EST). Vondrousova withdrew from last week's Adelaide International tournament with a hip injury, and Gauff is fresh off her second consecutive win at the ASB Classic.
Vondrousova faces qualifier Dayana Yastremska in John Cain Arena, and Gauff will play Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in Rod Laver Arena. Last year, the WTA produced four different Grand Slam champions, Aryna Sabalenka (Australian Open), Iga Swiatek (French Open), Vondrousova (Wimbledon), and Gauff (US Open). The talent in the ladies' game is deep and impressive so there is a high probability that this could happen again in 2024.