MINSK, 18 January (BelTA) – Belarus' world number 2 Aryna Sabalenka went off to a good start at the Australian Open seeing off Australia's world number 128 Storm Sanders, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, in the opener, BelTA has learned.
The Belarusian came from a set and a break down to notch her first win of 2022. The match lasted for two hours and 5 minutes. Aryna Sabalenka will next face China's world number 100 Wang Xinyu.
Two-time Australian Open winner, Belarus' world number 25 Victoria Azarenka kicked off her campaign in Melbourne with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Hungary's world number 98 Panna Udvardy. The Belarusian will next face world number 34 Jil Belen Teichmann of Switzerland. Victoria Azarenka won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013. Belarus' world number 77 Aliaksandra Sasnovich lost to China's world number 111 Qinwen Zheng, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 (5-10).
In the men's opener Belarus' world number 106 Egor Gerasimov lost to Poland's world number 10 Hubert Hurkacz, 2-6, 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-5), 3-6. Belarus' world number 48 Ilya Ivashka had to withdraw from the tournament. On 18 January, he was to face Spain's world number 83 Pablo Andujar. The Belarusian was replaced by world number 161 Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The first tournament of the Grand Slam series will be over on 30 January. The event's prize money totals $53.9 million. Last year the Australian Open men's event was won by Serbia's Novak Djokovic, the women's event by Naomi Osaka of Japan.