Without Djokovic, the Australian Open began: Bagnis and Delbonis, the first Argentines to come on stage

January 17, 2022

There will be 50% capacity to avoid coronavirus infections (Reuters)

After the case of Novak Djokovic monopolize the tournament preview, the Australian Open began the action this Monday, local time (Sunday night in Latin America), to thus launch the dispute of the first Grand Slam of the year. Although the Serbian scandal has left sports aside, the tournament could be historic since with his absence, Rafael Nadal seeks to reach a mark never conquered by any other tennis player in history.

By ruling out the participation of Nole, the Italian Salvatore Caruso will take his place and will face the Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic (78 in the world) in the first round, as determined by the draw, while Nadal, who returned last week after months of injury with a win at the Melbourne Summer Set, will start against the American Marcos Giron (66). The Spanish star, like the Serbian if he had had the chance to play, aspires to win his 21st Grand Slam in Melbourne, an absolute record in the men’s circuit.

The great absentee in the men’s picture is without a doubt Roger Federer, who is still recovered from his injury and, after what happened with Nole, will hope that Nadal does not consecrate himself, because at the moment the three of them have the mark of 20 Grand Slam trophies. Other figures that will not be present are the Swiss Stan Wawrinka, the Austrian Dominic Thiem y the canadian Milos Raonic. On the female side, Serena and Venus Williams will not participate either, as will the Argentine Nadia Podoroska.

Novak Djokovic will not be able to reach his 21st Grand Slam title and the tenth in Australia (Reuters)
Novak Djokovic will not be able to reach his 21st Grand Slam title and the tenth in Australia (Reuters)

Regarding the first round crosses, the Russian Daniil Medvedev, finalist in 2021, was paired with the Swiss Henri Laaksonen (92). For his part, the Argentine Diego Schwartzman (13) will face the Serbian Filip Krajinovic (39), Chilean Christian Garin (18) to the Argentine Facundo Bagnis (71) and Spanish Roberto Bautista Agut (17) to Italian Stefano Travaglia (86).

In the women’s tournament, the number one in the WTA, the Australian Ashleigh Barty, will start against one of the players from the qualifying rounds. For its part, the brand new winner of the Masters Cup, the Spanish-Venezuelan Garbiñe Muguruza, third seeded, will play their first game against the French Clara Burel, 20 years old and in 78th place. The current Melbourne women’s champion, the Japanese Naomi Osaka, will begin his title defense against the Colombian Camila Osorio.

The men’s grand final will be played on Sunday, January 30 at Melbourne Park, while the women’s will be the day before, on the 29th. The main duels can be followed on the ESPN screen, while those games that will not be televised will be available live by Star+.

The tournament is played within the framework of a new wave of COVID-19, so the capacity in the main stadiums has a limit of 50%, according to the updated restrictions reported last Thursday by the organizers. Additionally, face masks are mandatory for all attendees except when eating or drinking, and there are density limits of one person per two square meters at covered hospitality venues. Tennis Australia (TA) reported that the capacity limit only applies to ticket sales at Center Court, Rod Laver Arena, and Margaret Court Arena.

Rafa Nadal wants to make history and keep the record for Grand Slam titles that he shares today with Djokovic and Federer (EFE)
Rafa Nadal wants to make history and keep the record for Grand Slam titles that he shares today with Djokovic and Federer (EFE)

The preview of the Open was overshadowed by the scandal of Djokovic, winner of nine titles in Melbourne, including the last three editions. The Serbian came to Australia with a medical exemption granted by the tournament organizers citing having had COVID-19 on December 16. But when his flight landed, border agents revoked the visa and sent him to a migrant detention center in Melbourne.

His team of lawyers managed to get a judge to reverse the decision last Monday, due to a procedural error during his interrogation at the airport. However, after having found errors in his travel declaration presented to the authorities, in which he admitted having been in Spain and giving an interview to the newspaper The Team knowing that he was positive for coronavirus, a room of judges of the Federal Court decided unanimously the visa cancellation of the tennis player by the Minister of Immigration, Alex Hawke.

Main crosses of the first round

Now: F. Delbonis (ARG) vs. P. Martinez (ESP)

Now: F. Bagnis (ARG) Vs. C. Garin (CHI)

G. My son (FRA) vs. F. Coria (ARG)

T. Etcheverry (ARG) vs. P. Carreño Busta (ESP)

M. Giron (USA) vs. R. Nadal (ESP)

A. Zverev (ALE) vs. D Altmaier (ALE)

S. Caruso (ITA) vs. M. Kecmanovic (SRB)

N. Basilashvili (GEO) vs. A. Murray (ESC)

M. Ymer (SUE) vs. S. Tsitsipas (GRE)

A. Rublev (RUS) vs. G. Mager (ITA)

E. Rose Mountain (FIN) vs. F. Auger-Aliassime (CAN)

D. Schwartzman (ARG) vs. F. Krajinovic (SRB)

H. Laaksonen (SUI) vs. D. Medvedev (RUS)


The new love relationship of Juan Martín del Potro waiting for his return to tennis
The explosive criticism of Tsitsipas against Djokovic in the midst of the scandal at the Australian Open
“I’m still afraid of my dad”: Bernard Tomic surprised the world after recounting his ordeal in the middle of the Australian Open