Australian Open rocked by 'awful' scenes as Storm Hunter victory delights tennis fans

Day two at Melbourne Park threw up the biggest shock so far in the women's draw.

Pictured left to right, women's tennis stars Marketa Vondrousova and Storm Hunter at the Australian Open.
Women's tennis stars Marketa Vondrousova and Storm Hunter experienced wildly contrasting fortunes on day two of the Australian Open. Pic: Nine/Getty

Australia's World No.1 ranked doubles tennis star Storm Hunter has begun her singles campaign in winning fashion on a dramatic day two at the Australian Open. While Hunter booked her passage into round two with a 6-4 6-3 victory over former French Open finalist Sara Errani, Monday's early action at Melbourne Park produced the biggest shock so far in the women's draw.

Reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova was unceremoniously bundled out of Melbourne Park in straight sets by Dayana Yastremska. The Ukrainian qualifier ruthlessly dismantled her out-of-sorts opponent 6-1 6-2, after Vondrousova had arrived in Melbourne under a major injury cloud.

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The Czech seventh seed was forced her to withdraw from the Adelaide International lead-up tournament with a hip injury and did not seem right against her Ukrainian opponent. Vondrousova has never advanced beyond the third round in seven attempts at Melbourne Park and Yastremska ensured that underwhelming streak would continue.

Wimbledon champ out in round one after 'awful' display

The win was the 23-year-old's fourth career victory over a top-10 player and first encounter on John Cain Arena since she sent local favourite Sam Stosur packing in 2019. The ease with which she dispatched Vondrousova left many fans gobsmacked on social media, with viewers describing it as an "awful" performance from the Czech.

While Vondrousova was left to contemplate another failed opportunity at Melbourne Park, the opposite was true for local hope Hunter. The Aussie is flying high on confidence and form after becoming Australia's first top-ranked women's doubles ace since Samantha Stosur in 2006 and emerging as the nation's lynchpin in Billie Jean King Cup and United Cup teams over the last two years.

Aussie Storm Hunter scores breakthrough win

The crafty left-hander is intent on forging a successful singles career and has been handed wildcards for every one of her previous nine Australian Open campaigns, including main-draw first-round defeats in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2022 and 2023. On Monday, fortune finally smiled on Hunter in singles as the 29-year-old clinched her maiden win in the main draw of the Melbourne Park grand slam.

Seen here, Aussie tennis star Storm Hunter.
Storm Hunter is through to the second round of the women's singles draw for the first time at the Australian Open. Pic: Getty

"It means everything," she said after finally breaking through. "I've got a big schedule now. Singles, doubles and mixed, so bring it on." Monday's victory saw Hunter become the first Aussie women through to the second round at this year's slam, with fans showering her with praise on social media.

In other notable results in Monday's early women's action, American No.4 seed and US Open champion Coco Gauff continued her hot streak at the majors with a comprehensive 6-3 6-0 drubbing of Anna Schmiedlova. Gauff won the last nine games on the trot, needing just 60 minutes to end the challenge of the Slovakian.

Yastremska's fellow Ukrainian Elina Svitolina also made a flying start, courtesy of a clinical 6-2 6-2 win over Australian wildcard Taylah Preston. Svitolina, a former world No.3, was playing her first match at Melbourne Park since the birth of her daughter Skai in 2022.

with AAP

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