Roger Federer into 3rd round to extend Aussie streak

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MELBOURNE, Australia — Roger Federer, who had reached the third round at the Australian Open every year since his tournament debut in 2000, extended his streak by beating Filip Krajinovic 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 in the second round.

The 20-time major champion has won the title in Australia six times and showed why against the 41st-ranked Krajinovic, winning in 1 hour, 32 minutes.

“I’m feeling really relaxed on court,” the 38-year-old Federer said. “I’m happy. I’m still going, and looking forward to the next one, of course.”

Krajinovic’s first-round match was delayed because of heavy rain on Day 1 of the tournament, and he had to get through a tough five-setter against Quentin Halys. Federer finished off a straight-set first-round win over Steve Johnson in 1:21 on Monday.

“It wasn’t 100% fair he played 3 1/2 hours yesterday and I played zero,” Federer said. “Yeah, I do feel a little sorry … but you’ve got to take advantage of it, I guess.”

Federer will next play John Millman, the Australian who produced an upset win over him at the 2018 U.S. Open.

9:55 p.m.

Police say up to 20 people were ejected from the Australian Open for disruptive behavior. The group of men were supporting Greek player Maria Sakkari in a late afternoon match on Court 8 against Nao Hibino of Japan.

“About 6.05 p.m. this evening a group of 15-20 males were evicted from the tennis for disruptive behavior,” Victoria state police said in a statement. “The group had received numerous warnings during a match on Court 8 from a match referee, security and police. After the match the group were asked to leave and did so peacefully.”

The 22nd-seeded Sakkari won the match 7-6 (4), 6-4 and will next play either 10th-seeded Madison Keys or Arantxa Rus.

8:40 p.m.

Serena Williams moved a step closer in her bid for a record 24th major title with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Tamara Zidansek to reach the third round at the Australian Open.

Williams won the last of her seven Australian Open titles in 2017, but hasn’t added a major championship since then. She took time off the tour to have her daughter, Olympia, and has lost four Grand Slam finals in the last two seasons. Her title in Auckland, New Zealand recently was her first at tour-level in almost three years.

The 38-year-old Williams dominated in the first set but was slowed down slightly in the second, when the roof was closed because of rain, and the 70th-ranked Zidansek saved the first seven break-point chances she faced.

“I knew I had to step up, otherwise it was going to be a really long evening for me,” Williams said.

8 p.m.

Bob and Mike Bryan have started their farewell to Grand Slam doubles with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 first-round win over Rohan Bopanna and Yasutaka Uchiyama at the Australian Open.

The 41-year-old American twins have won six Australian Open doubles championships among their record 16 major titles together. The most accomplished men’s doubles team in history, the Bryans announced late last year that they planned to retire after the 2020 U.S. Open.

They won their last Australian title in 2013.

7:40 p.m.

Three-time major semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov has been eliminated at the Australian Open by 22-year-old American Tommy Paul in a second-round match that went to a fifth-set tiebreaker.

Paul had never won a Grand Slam match until this week.

He is ranked 80th.

But he built a two-sets-to-none lead against the 18th-seeded Dimitrov, gave that lead away, was two points from defeat and then pulled out the victory.

Dimitrov’s semifinals at major tournaments include a run to that stage in Australia three years ago and at the U.S. Open in 2019.

7 p.m.

Milos Raonic has set up a third-round match against 2019 semifinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas by beating Cristian Garin 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 at Melbourne Arena.

Raonic, the 2016 Wimbledon runner-up, had 11 of his 19 aces in the third set.

Tsitsipas took advantage of a walkover in his second-round match, advancing without hitting a ball when Philipp Kohlschreiber pulled out of their match because of a muscle strain.

6:20 p.m.

Tennys Sandgren has upset eighth-seeded Matteo Berrettini of Italy in five sets to reach the third round.

Sandgren is ranked only 100th.

He wasted a two-sets-to-none lead against 2019 U.S. Open semifinalist Berrettini but managed to pull out the victory by a score of 7-6 (7), 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 7-5.

Sandgren improved to 4-0 in five-setters. It was also the fourth top-10 win of his career; two of the others also came at Melbourne Park, back in 2018, when Sandgren reached the quarterfinals.

Up next for Sandgren is an all-American matchup against Sam Querrey.

4:30 p.m.

Seven-time champion Novak Djokovic avoided the same mistake he made three years go when he met a wild-card entry in the second round in Melbourne.

Djokovic beat Tatsuma Ito 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 in a swirling breeze on Rod Laver Arena to advance to a third-round match against another Japanese player, Yoshihito Nishioka, who is coming off a win over 30th-seeded Dan Evans.

In 2017, Djokovic was upset in the second round by Denis Istomin who, like Ito, had earned his spot in the main draw by winning the Asia-Pacific wild-card playoff. That was Djokovic’s worst performance in Australia since a first-round exit in 2006.

His experience at Melbourne Park counted as the wind picked up in the afternoon.

“Credit to (Ito) for fighting to the end. Tough conditions out here,” Djokovic said. “”The wind can get you out of your comfort zone very quickly.”

3:40 p.m.

Coco Gauff has beaten Sorana Cirstea 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 to set up a third-round match against defending champion Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open.

The 15-year-old Gauff rallied after losing the first set and got the pivotal service break in the next-to-last game before serving out against 29-year-old Cirstea, who is playing at the Australian Open for a 12th time.

Gauff started the tournament with her second first-round win over Venus Williams in three majors, following her upset over the seven-time Grand Slam champion at last year’s Wimbledon.

Osaka had to overcame swirling winds on Margaret Court Arena to beat Zheng Saisai 6-2, 6-4 in one of the first matches on Day 3.

Gauff reached the fourth round on her Wimbledon debut and the third round at the U.S. Open.

3 p.m.

Caroline Wozniacki has continued her farewell tournament by overcoming a 5-1 first-set deficit and beating Dayana Yastremska 7-5, 7-5 on her sixth match point in the second round.

Wozniacki has said she plans to retire after this Australian Open. The 2018 champion had three match points in the 10th game of the second set but Yastremska held in a game after she’d taken a medical timeout to treat her left leg.

Wozniacki eventually clinched it two games later with a service break, and wiped tears from her eyes.

Former No. 1-ranked Wozniacki will next play Ons Jabeur, who beat Caroline Garcia 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Jabeur bounces back at French Open, Ruud and Andreeva advance

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PARIS — Ons Jabeur got a do-over on Court Philippe Chatrier at the French Open and won this time.

A year after her first-round exit, the No. 7 seed Jabeur beat Lucia Bronzetti 6-4, 6-1 to help erase some bad memories and answer questions about a recent calf injury.

The Tunisian, a crowd favorite in Paris, smiled and expressed relief in not repeating last year’s mistake, when she lost to Magda Linette of Poland.

“I’m very happy to win my first match on Philippe Chatrier – because I’ve never won here,” Jabeur said on court about the clay-court tournament’s main stadium.

Now she can focus on trying to win her first major. She was runner-up at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year.

The 28-year-old Jabeur has also battled injuries this season. She had knee surgery after the Australian Open, and was then sidelined with a calf injury. She had stopped playing against top-ranked Iga Swiatek at the clay-court tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, in late April and then pulled out of the Madrid Open.

“It was a very difficult period for me after Stuttgart,” said Jabeur, adding that she’s beginning to find her rhythm.

Jabeur struck 27 winner’s to Bronzetti’s seven, though with 24 unforced errors she’ll have room to improve.

Mirra Andreeva had a memorable Grand Slam debut by dominating Alison Riske-Amritraj 6-2, 6-1. Andreeva’s older sister – 18-year-old Erika – was facing Emma Navarro later in the day.

Later, Swiatek gets her French Open title defense started against Cristina Bucsa, who is ranked 70th.

On the men’s side, No. 4 seed Casper Ruud beat qualifier Elias Ymer 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, to remind the higher-profile tournament favorites that he was runner-up to Rafael Nadal last year at Roland Garros.

New mom Elina Svitolina beats seeded player at French Open in 1st Slam match in 16 months

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PARIS — So much has changed for Elina Svitolina, who played – and won – her first Grand Slam match in nearly 1 1/2 years at the French Open, eliminating 2022 semifinalist Martina Trevisan 6-2, 6-2.

For one thing, she’s now a mother: Svitolina and her husband, French tennis player Gael Monfils, welcomed their daughter, Skaï, in October. For another, Svitolina is now ranked 192nd, nowhere near the career high of No. 3 she first reached in 2017, back in the days when she was regularly reaching the second weeks of major tournaments – including a pair of semifinal runs. Away from the courts, her home country of Ukraine was invaded by Russia last year, and the war continues.

“Everything,” she said, “is kind of old and new for me right now.”

In sum, Svitolina is juggling a lot nowadays.

She hadn’t played at a Slam since a third-round exit at the Australian Open in January 2022. She hadn’t played a match anywhere since March 2022, when she was still ranked 20th.

“It was always in my head … to come back, but I didn’t put any pressure on myself, because obviously with the war going on, with the pregnancy, you never know how complicated it will go,” the 28-year-old Svitolina said.

The work to return to the tour after giving birth began this January; her initial WTA match came at Charleston, South Carolina, in April. She won her first title since returning to action, at a smaller event on red clay in Strasbourg, France.

At Roland Garros, she used her big forehand to compile a 20-12 edge in winners and never faced a single break point against Trevisan, who was seeded 26th.

Trevisan cried as she spoke after the match about a problem with her right foot that made it difficult to even walk and prompted her to stop playing during her quarterfinal last week at the Morocco Open, where she was the defending champion.

Still, she gave Svitolina credit.

“Even though she’s just coming back from having a daughter, she’s a champion,” Trevisan said. “And she’s coming off a title, so she’s confident.”

Svitolina talked about feeling “awful when you’re pregnant, especially the last months,” but getting into a position now where she thinks she’s stronger than before – in more ways than one.

“I feel that I can handle the work that I do off the court and, match by match, I’m getting better. Also mentally, because mental (state) can influence your physicality, as well,” she said. “I tried to find the balance, and I feel like I’m seeing (things) a little bit again differently as well after the break. Everything is getting there. The puzzles are getting slowly into place.”