NEWS

Australian Open sees 5 Britons into second round

January 17, 2017

The strong British start at the Australian open has continued on day two​, with five players making it into the second round of the tournament.

After opening day victories for Andy Murray and Dan Evans, the British charge continued on day two as Johanna Konta, Kyle Edmund and Heather Watson all came through.

Fresh from her triumph in the Sydney International tournament last week, Konta produced another commanding display to defeat Kirsten Flipkens 7-5, 6-2. Like Konta, Flipkens has a Grand Slam semi-final on her CV - Wimbledon in 2013 - and has been ranked as high as 13 in the world and managed to break back when Konta was serving for the first set at 5-4.

However, Konta produced the response of a player in form to immediately restore her advantage and from then on she cruised to victory to set up a second round encounter with Japan's Naomi Osaka.

If Konta beat a good player, Watson went further by downing a former Grand Slam winner. Former world number four and 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur suffered another early Melbourne exit - the seventh year in succession she has failed to make it past the third round of her home Grand Slam - as Watson produced some of the form that saw her come so close to knocking Venus Williams out of the Championships, Wimbledon in 2015.

Despite suffering an early break, Watson battled back to take the first set 6-3, before Stosur levelled the match by the same margin in the second. However, it was the Channel Islander who took charge in the decider, which she took 6-0 for her first win over the Aussie and set up a clash with American Jennifer Brady.

Afterwards, Watson said: "Sam's a great player - she's beaten me both times before. I felt I prepared really well and felt fit in that third set."

Kyle Edmund added to his reputation as a rising star with an outstanding display in his 6-2 7-5 6-3 win over world number 91 Santiago Giraldo. After struggling with cramp as he lost in the first round last year, a fitter world number 46 coped well with the 35 degree C heat as he breezed through to set up a second round encounter with 30th seed Pablo Carreno Busta.

It was the second successive Grand Slam in which five Britons had made the second round and Naomi Broady looked like she might make it six against another Aussie, Daria Gavrilova. However, having taken the first set, she was eventually edged out 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a tight match despite hitting 19 aces.

Fans booking corporate hospitality for The Championships, Wimbledon this summer may be excited by the growing success of the Britons. As well as the Murray brothers, Konta offers genuine title-winning hopes and Kyle Edmund may soon reach the same level.

Elsewhere, the usual big names have come through, with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams all progressing easily enough, although Djokovic saw his serve broken twice in a scrappy second set against Fernando Verdasco.

A few top players have, however, struggled in their opening rounds, with Stan Wawrinka joining Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori in taking five sets to get through.

The strong British start at the Australian open has continued on day two​, with five players making it into the second round of the tournament.

After opening day victories for Andy Murray and Dan Evans, the British charge continued on day two as Johanna Konta, Kyle Edmund and Heather Watson all came through.

Fresh from her triumph in the Sydney International tournament last week, Konta produced another commanding display to defeat Kirsten Flipkens 7-5, 6-2. Like Konta, Flipkens has a Grand Slam semi-final on her CV - Wimbledon in 2013 - and has been ranked as high as 13 in the world and managed to break back when Konta was serving for the first set at 5-4.

However, Konta produced the response of a player in form to immediately restore her advantage and from then on she cruised to victory to set up a second round encounter with Japan's Naomi Osaka.

If Konta beat a good player, Watson went further by downing a former Grand Slam winner. Former world number four and 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur suffered another early Melbourne exit - the seventh year in succession she has failed to make it past the third round of her home Grand Slam - as Watson produced some of the form that saw her come so close to knocking Venus Williams out of the Championships, Wimbledon in 2015.

Despite suffering an early break, Watson battled back to take the first set 6-3, before Stosur levelled the match by the same margin in the second. However, it was the Channel Islander who took charge in the decider, which she took 6-0 for her first win over the Aussie and set up a clash with American Jennifer Brady.

Afterwards, Watson said: "Sam's a great player - she's beaten me both times before. I felt I prepared really well and felt fit in that third set."

Kyle Edmund added to his reputation as a rising star with an outstanding display in his 6-2 7-5 6-3 win over world number 91 Santiago Giraldo. After struggling with cramp as he lost in the first round last year, a fitter world number 46 coped well with the 35 degree C heat as he breezed through to set up a second round encounter with 30th seed Pablo Carreno Busta.

It was the second successive Grand Slam in which five Britons had made the second round and Naomi Broady looked like she might make it six against another Aussie, Daria Gavrilova. However, having taken the first set, she was eventually edged out 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a tight match despite hitting 19 aces.

Fans booking corporate hospitality for the Championships, Wimbledon this summer may be excited by the growing success of the Britons. As well as the Murray brothers, Konta offers genuine title-winning hopes and Kyle Edmund may soon reach the same level.

Elsewhere, the usual big names have come through, with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams all progressing easily enough, although Djokovic saw his serve broken twice in a scrappy second set against Fernando Verdasco.

A few top players have, however, struggled in their opening rounds, with Stan Wawrinka joining Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori in taking five sets to get through.

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