Sofia Kenin in the second round of the 2021 Australian Open
Sofia Kenin in the second round of the 2021 Australian Open | (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

Tennis | Australian Open 2021 | Diary: Scattered seeds as the first two rounds conclude

  • Four days, two rounds and a lot of emotion
  • We round up which seeds have fallen by the wayside
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – The first Slam of the year always throws up surprises, as we look at which seeds survived the first two rounds of the Australian Open.


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Men’s Draw Australian Open 2021 Casualties

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Round 1 Round 2
Gael Monfils [10] Stan Wawrinka [17]
Roberto Bautista Agut [12] Ugo Humbert [29]
David Goffin [13] Lorenzo Sonego [31]
Benoit Paire [25] Borna Coric [22]
Hubert Hurkacz [26]
Dan Evans [30]


Perhaps the most poignant of the losses in the first round was that of Gael Monfils. Always the perpetual showman, the emotion was evident as his losing streak going back to Dubai in February last year showed.

He said, during his emotional press conference: “I don’t have any confidence. I would like to get out of this nightmare, but I can’t. “I don’t know when it’s going to end. It’s hard.

“I can’t serve, I’m playing badly. I’m being honest and it’s going to take time. I’ll share the simple advice my mother will give me – ‘you have to keep training and it will come back. That’s the only thing.”

In terms of the impact to draw, there are no chances in path to the final for top seed Novak Djokovic or Dominic Tjiem, and Alexander Zverev benefiting from the loss of Monfils as a quarter-final opponent, and Daniil Medvedev loses David Goffin as a possible fourth round opponent.


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Women’s Draw Australian Open 2021 Casualties

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Round 1 Round 2
Victoria Azarenka [12] Sofia Kenin [4]
Johanna Konta [13] Bianca Andreescu [8]
Petra Martic [16] Petra Kvitova [9]
Maria Sakkari [20] Elena Rybakina [17]
Angelique Kerber [23]
Alison Riske [24]
Wang Qiang [30]
Zhang Shuai [31]


Defending champion Sofia Kenin has made no secret of her emotions coming into her first major title defence, and she was roundly bounced out by Kaia Kanepi in straight sets, promoting an equally tearful press conference.

She said: “Obviously I haven’t experienced that. I obviously felt like I’m not there 100% physically, mentally, my game. Everything just feels real off obviously. I couldn’t really handle the pressure. I’m not obviously used to this, so right now I just got to figure out how to play at that level that I played at. Because like today and those matches, it just hasn’t been there. It’s weird. I’ve been practicing for two weeks. Luckily I’ve been able to practice. I felt fine in practice. Just couldn’t do that in the game.”

Other notable exits included Angelique Kerber, who had been part of the group who was placed in hard lockdown, and she admitted that perhaps if she had anticipated these kinds of challenges, she would have thought again about coming for the tournament.

She said, after the match: “When I’m looking back, of course I was not planned the two weeks hard quarantine. I don’t know, maybe if I knew that before to stay really two weeks in the hard quarantine without hitting a ball, maybe I would think twice about that.

“But I was trying to take the motivation also for this tournament because it’s one of my favourite tournaments. Of course, I knew that we play with a little bit of fans, which is always such a different than playing with no fans. It makes tennis playing much more fun to play out there. So that was my motivation. But, of course, if I knew the real situation before my trip, I would think maybe twice to come here.”

Ashleigh Barty could have reasonably expected to meet Kenin in the semi-finals, and instead the path actually opens for Elina Svitolina, who would have faced Kenin in the quarter-finals.

On the other side of the draw, Marketa Vondrousova is the only seed left in that eighth of the draw and avoided facing Bianca Andreescu, but the loaded bottom quarter remains the same for Aryna Sabalenka, Serena Williams, Iga Swiatek and Simona Halep.

Play continues with the third round on Friday 12 February, at 11am (Midnight GMT).


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