Amanda Anisimova reduced to tears in 'awful' scenes at Australian Open

The 28th seed from America suffered a shock first-round loss to Martya Kostyuk, becoming the first high-profile casualty.

Amanda Anisimova, pictured here during her loss to Martya Kostyuk at the Australian Open.
Amanda Anisimova was in tears during her loss to Martya Kostyuk at the Australian Open. Image: Getty/Eurosport

Amanda Anisimova has broken down in tears at the Australian Open during a shock first-round loss to Martya Kostyuk. The 28th seed from America went down 6-3 6-4 to her Ukrainian opponent on Monday in the first big upset of the tournament at Melbourne Park.

Anisimova became the first seeded casualty to crash out of the first grand slam of 2023, weeping tears even before the match finished. Leading tennis writer Jose Morgado tweeted: "Amanda Anisimova, who had an interesting Slam season in 2022, is the first seed to lose at the AusOpen 2023. Anisimova was crying before the match finished."

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Anisimova was followed out the exit door by 25th seed Marie Bouzkova not long after. Bouzkova lost 6-2 6-4 to former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, who is working her way back up the rankings after an injury-plagued few years.

Anisimova was among five seeded American women in the top half of the draw at Melbourne Park. World No.3 Jessica Pegula and No.7 Coco Gauff both earlier recorded dominant victories, before 13th seed Danielle Collins survived a scare against Anna Kalinskaya to win 7-5 5-7 6-4.

Pegula wasted no time stamping her title credentials, powering into the second round in just 59 minutes. One of the title favourites alongside World No.1 Iga Swiatek, Pegula beat Romania's Jaqueline Cristian 6-0 6-1.

Marta Kostyuk, pictured here in action against Amanda Anisimova at the Australian Open.
Marta Kostyuk reacts after winning a point against Amanda Anisimova at the Australian Open. (Photo by PAUL CROCK/AFP via Getty Images)

Pegula won the first nine games of the match on Margaret Court Arena before sealing the lopsided victory with an ace. The American has emerged as a genuine title contender after crushing Swiatek in straight sets at the United Cup in Sydney recently.

She reached the quarter-finals at her previous two Australian Opens and was beaten by eventual champion Ash Barty in 2022. Fellow American Gauff did it a little bit tougher and needed seven match points to beat Czech doubles star Katerina Siniakova 6-1 6-4.

"I'm really pleased with that," said the 18-year-old Gauff. "Katerina is a fighter. I knew that she was going to fight to the last point and she proved that today. We had some excellent points in that last game."

Gauff is yet to taste defeat in 2023, having won the title at the ASB Classic in Auckland. She made her maiden grand slam final at the French Open last year and will be looking to go one step further in 2023.

Fans were left gutted for Anisimova despite the other American victories. Some described her performance as 'awful' and 'disappointing'.

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Aussie youngster Olivia Gadecki scores stunning win

Meanwhile, rising Aussie star Olivia Gadecki has won on her grand slam debut, beating beating Polina Kudermetova of Russia 7-5 6-1. Gadecki, who is being mentored by fellow Queenslander Barty, reeled off six-straight games in the second set on her way to victory.

"I actually can't believe it. I'm speechless," Gadecki said after sealing the win. The 20-year-old will now face Kostyuk in the second round.

The victory came in Gadecki's first match at grand slam level. She was supposed to debut at the Australian Open last year but was unable to play after opting against getting the Covid-19 vaccine.

"I knew what my decision entailed and just focused on doing the best I could with what I've got and just tried to play the rest of the year," she said last month. "Last year was a bit tough with injuries. I've been struggling a little bit for the last five or six months.

"I know I can play at a top level but I'm just looking at all the little things I have to do well to get there. I'm just looking to enjoy the experience and hopefully get a couple of matches under my belt."

Emma Raducanu also eased into the second round with a 6-3 6-2 win over Tamara Korpatsch of Germany. The 2021 US Open champion came into the Australian Open under an injury cloud after retiring hurt at the ASB Classic.

with AAP

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