Aussie TV viewers were left baffled on Wednesday afternoon when Channel Nine didn’t show Serena Williams’ second-round match at the Australian Open.
When the 23-time grand slam champion kicked off her match against Nina Stojanovic just after 1pm, fans were fuming that they couldn’t watch it on TV.
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Channel Nine was showing Aussie James Duckworth in action against Canadian 20th seed Felix Auger Aliassime on the main channel.
While over on 9Gem, viewers could watch women’s ninth seed Petra Kvitova against Sorana Cîrstea of Romania.
Gabrielle Jackson of The Guardian Australia hit out on Twitter.
“For some bizarre reason, Nine is playing an obscure men’s match instead of GOAT Serena Williams on their main channel,” she wrote.
“SERENA IS WHY WE'RE HERE, CHANNEL NINE!”
Another Twitter user wrote: “How can I watch Serena Williams vs Stojanović instead of world number 71 Duckworth??!”
For some bizarre reason, Nine is playing an obscure men's match instead of GOAT Serena Williams on their main channel. SERENA IS WHY WE'RE HERE, CHANNEL NINE! You can follow the action on our live blog with @mike_hytner https://t.co/xTCwXNfOOZ
— Gabrielle Jackson (@gabriellecj) February 10, 2021
— F Dugald (@fdugald26) February 10, 2021
Seems like the entire reasoning is because one of the players is Australian
— Oz (@redrabbleroz) February 10, 2021
Whyyy is Serena not on tv
— darcie (@_darciejade) February 10, 2021
While others complained that they couldn’t even watch Serena’s match on Channel Nine’s online streaming service 9Now.
“Why does Channel 9 advertise that every AO tennis match can be live-streamed on the 9now app from 11am daily?!” one user tweeted.
“No such option on my 9now app, wtf is going on?
“I can only see highlights from round 1?? I want to watch Serena.”
Serena powered into the third round, blitzing Stojanovic 6-3, 6-0.
Former US Open champion crashes out
Meanwhile, Hsieh Su-Wei's Melbourne Park affinity continued on Wednesday with the Taiwanese star springing one of the shocks of the 2021 Australian Open.
Hsieh sent eighth-seeded Canadian Bianca Andreescu packing with a 6-3 6-2 second-round victory over the 2019 US Open champion.
Coached by Australian great Paul McNamee, the world’s top-ranked doubles player Hsieh has twice reached the second week of the Open - in 2008 and 2018.
The 35-year-old is now one win away from matching those runs to the last 16 after needing only an hour and 23 minutes to put Andreescu away.
Ranked No.71 in the world, Hsieh has only progressed beyond round two twice from 28 attempts at any of the other three grand slams.
But the funky baseliner says the Melbourne crowd brings the best out of her, especially when she's an underdog.
“It's strange, I normally feel more excited to play with a better player because you know they have all the skill in the court and are better than other girl,” Hsieh said.
“So you need to find a way to get through and play your game. It is always not easy.
“But the crowd is always the best for us to keep fighting here.”
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