Day 2 of the Australian Open didn’t really bring much in terms of upsets results on the men’s side. Only three seeds were eliminated in the first round in this bottom half of the draw and none of those results can really be called a surprise: Milos Raonic getting beaten by Lucas Lacko sounds surprising on paper, but it becomes much less so when you consider the fitness struggles the Canadian has been going through for the past 12 months or so, an early loss was always in the cards. Bautista Agut also lost his first match, to the always dangerous Fernando Verdasco; not only is this not a big upset on paper, but Agut was always likely to struggle after playing over five hours in two days to claim the title in Auckland. Finally, Hyeon Chung beat last year’s quarterfinalist and Andy Murray slayer Mischa Zverev, in a match where the Korean was a clear favorite despite his unseeded status.
Aside from that, every seed won, with the “big names” like Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro, and Roger Federer winning rather comfortably in straight sets. There was some intrigue regarding how well Djokovic would play in his comeback to the tour, and while this match against Donald Young is hardly a meaningful gauge of his level going forward, he definitely looks fit to compete. Also returning to action, Stan Wawrinka struggled quite a bit against Ricardis Berankis and looked far from full fitness in his first match in six months, but he still pulled through in the end.
The biggest upset of the day was perhaps Guillermo Garcia-Lopez’s victory over Benoit Paire, given the Spaniard’s results in the past 12 months, but it’s still hardly an earth-shattering result given the Frenchman’s known volatile nature. The best match of the day was arguably the tussle between Thanasi Kokkinakis and Daniil Medvedev, which saw the Russian ultimately come out on top in 4 hard-fought sets.
Round 2 of the Australian Open in this half of the draw will feature some very intriguing matchups, none more so than Djokovic vs Gael Monfils – the first true test of Djokovic’s form upon his comeback. It will also feature a NextGen battle between Chung and Medvedev, and a power contest between del Potro and Khachanov.
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