With any luck, Day 2 of the Australian Open will build upon what was a thrilling Day 1 and provide even more big-name upsets.
The first rounds of Grand Slams always have a few surprises here and there, but down in Melbourne, the upsets come hard and fast.
Having the tournament so early in the season means that players don't have a ton of time to prepare. That levels the playing field and results in players like Sara Errani, Petra Kvitova and Roberta Vinci crashing out on Day 1. Meanwhile, Tommy Haas was forced to retire after a first-round injury.
Day 2 should feature more of the same, so here's a quick preview for Tuesday's action.
Where: Melbourne Park
When: Tuesday, Jan. 14, 11 a.m. AEDT; Monday, Jan. 13, 7 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Day 2 Schedule (view full schedule here)
|Matchup||Court||Court Start Time (Local)||Match #|
|Johanna Larsson (SWE) vs. Victoria Azarenka (BLR) ||Rod Laver Arena||11 a.m.||1|
|James Duckworth (AUS) vs. Roger Federer (SUI) ||Rod Laver Arena||11 a.m.||2|
|Andres Seppi (ITA)  vs. Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)||Rod Laver Arena||11 a.m.||3|
|Rafael Nadal (ESP)  vs. Bernard Tomic (AUS)||Rod Laver Arena||7 p.m.||1|
|Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) vs. Maria Sharapova (RUS) ||Rod Laver Arena||7 p.m.||2|
|Lourdes Dominguez Lino (ESP) vs. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) ||Hisense Arena||11 a.m.||1|
|Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)  vs. Filippo Volandri (ITA)||Hisense Arena||11 a.m.||2|
|Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)  vs. Yulia Putintseva (KAZ)||Hisense Arena||11 a.m.||3|
|Andy Murray (GBR)  vs. Go Soeda (JPN)||Hisense Arena||Not Before 5 p.m.||4|
|Katarzyna Piter (POL) vs. Simona Halep (ROU) ||Margaret Court Arena||11 a.m.||1|
|Francesca Schiavone (ITA) vs. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) ||Margaret Court Arena||11 a.m.||2|
|Jelena Jankovic (SRB)  vs. Misaki Doi (JPN)||Margaret Court Arena||11 a.m.||3|
|Rhyne Williams (USA) vs. Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) ||Margaret Court Arena||11 a.m.||4|
|Ryan Harrison (USA) vs. Gael Monfils (FRA) ||Margaret Court Arena||Not Before 5 p.m.||5|
|Marinko Matosevic (AUS) vs. Kei Nishikori (JPN) ||Show Court 2||11 a.m.||1|
|Sloane Stephens (USA)  vs. Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ)||Show Court 2||11 a.m.||4|
|Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)  vs. Vania King (USA)||Show Court 3||11 a.m.||1|
|Martin Klizan (SVK) vs. John Isner (USA) ||Court 6||11 a.m.||2|
|Milos Raonic (CAN)  vs. Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP)||Court 8||11 a.m.||1|
|Elina Svitolina (UKR) vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) ||Court 13||11 a.m.||4|
Top Matches to Watch
No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. Bernard Tomic
Rafael Nadal missed last year's Australian Open while recovering from an injured left knee. He returned in February at the VTR Open, and the rest was history.
Will Rafael Nadal win the Grand Slam in 2014?
Nadal was brilliant in 2013, sans his Wimbledon debacle. Now, with a full season ahead, who knows what Nadal is capable of on the court? The 27-year-old looks like a genuine bet to actually pull off the Grand Slam for 2014.
Melbourne has always been a bit of a trouble spot for Nadal, a 2012 finalist there. His one Aussie Open title is the fewest of the four Grand Slam event titles he owns, and he's only made the Australian Open final twice in eight attempts.
It will be important for Nadal to get off to a quick start this year.
Prediction: Nadal wins, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2
No. 4 Andy Murray vs. Go Soeda
Andy Murray has become a fixture in the final rounds at the Australian Open. In three of the last four years, he has made the Australian Open men's title match, and lost in the semifinals in the other year (2012).
Although Murray is staring up at a glass ceiling in terms of matching the overall success of Nadal and Novak Djokovic, Melbourne is the perfect place for him to get an edge on his rivals. He has always been great on hard courts, and it's much easier to spring a surprise earlier in the season.
Some feel that Murray has a cakewalk in the first round against Go Soeda. Simon Briggs of The Telegraph, however, believes the 29-year-old Soeda could give the reigning Wimbledon champion a tough go of it:
Since the draw came out, Soeda has been widely painted as a patsy – an ideal first opponent for Murray as he feels his way back from a four-month lay-off.
Yet this is more than a tad disrespectful: Soeda’s ranking of 112 conceals the fact that he cracked the top 50 last year before picking up an injury. Now restored to full fitness, he is the sort of energetic terrier – or perhaps we should call him a Spitz – who will scamper all over the court and keep Murray short of breath.
Briggs also noted how the hot temperatures in Melbourne could level the playing field a bit between the two competitors.
Murray should win this one in straight sets. Soeda may present a stern test in the first or second sets, but he'll fade as the match goes on.
Prediction: Murray wins, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
Johanna Larsson vs. No. 2 Victoria Azarenka
In each of the last two years, Victoria Azarenka has reigned supreme in Melbourne. The last women's player to win three straight singles titles there was Martina Hingis from 1997 to 1999.
Even with her success at the Australian Open, Azarenka could only earn the second seed in 2014 behind No. 1 Serena Williams. Rather than taking umbrage with what some may perceive as a slight, the 24-year-old Azarenka said that she didn't need any additional motivation to take down Williams, per The Telegraph:
I don’t really care about it, honestly. I never cared about it. For us, it’s a matter of playing tennis and giving your best on the court. Everybody will be motivated to beat her.
Azarenka shouldn't have any trouble with Larsson in the first round. The two have already met once, with Azarenka having coasted to a 6-1, 6-3 win in the first round of the 2011 U.S. Open.
Prediction: Azarenka wins, 6-2, 6-2
No. 8 Jelena Jankovic vs. Misaki Doi
At 28 years old, Jelena Jankovic has passed her best opportunity to win a Grand Slam title. During her prime, few female singles players did less with more, as time and again she had let mental lapses be the ruination of her run to Grand Slam finals.
However, as her climb up the rankings would attest, Jankovic remains a steady presence on the court. Of course, she's equally capable of laying a major egg early in the tournament and getting bounced in the first few rounds, thus making for a captivating first-round match in Melbourne.
Jankovic has met Misaki Doi once—at a 2012 WTA event in Birmingham, England. It was a close match, with the Serbian star winning, 6-3, 6-4. A similar result should follow at the Australian Open, as this should be one of the more competitive first-round matches featuring a top-10 seed.
Prediction: Jankovic wins, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3