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All the kinks had been worked out for Viktor Troicki. The 32-year-old Serbian had already played four matches, including qualifying, and he knew the Melbourne conditions as well as anyone before his second-round match.
But it didn't matter against Greece's #NextGenATP star Stefanos Tsitsipas, who played aggressively and outdid the Serbian veteran on Wednesday 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 to reach the third round of the Australian Open for the first time.
Tsitsipas made history on Monday, becoming the first Greek player to win a match at the Australian Open. Next he'll try to match some personal best Grand Slam showings.
He reached the fourth round of Wimbledon last year, his best Grand Slam performance. He'll face Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili for a place in the fourth round. Basilashvili found a way to beat Italian qualifier Stefano Travaglia 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 despite hitting more unforced errors (57) than winners (42).
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Tsitsipas dominated for the first set and a half before Troicki found a way into it, breaking in the sixth and eighth games to even the match. But Tsitsipas, buoyed by a contingent of boisterous Greek fans, returned to his aggressive ways to put away Troicki, who was going for his fifth third-round appearance in Melbourne.
The 20-year-old Tsitsipas was successful on 65 per cent of his trips to the net (24/37). The reigning Intrum Stockholm Open and Next Gen ATP Finals champion will want to shore up one stat before his third-round tilt: break points. He won only four of his 19 opportunities (21%).

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With the first round in the books at Melbourne Park, second seed Rafael Nadal and third seed Roger Federer will look to continue on their semi-final collision course at the Australian Open on Wednesday.
Nadal, competing in his first tour-level event since last year’s US Open, was impressive in a straight-sets victory in his opener. The Spaniard will look to ride the momentum from that win into his second-rounder against a second consecutive home favourite: Matthew Ebden.
“Beginnings are tough, but every day helps and every day makes me feel better, makes me feel more confident,” Nadal said after winning his first match in four months. “So that's an important victory because it’s the first victory in a while, and at the same time, because that gives me the chance to be on court again.”
Nadal won his only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting against Ebden, but that match came seven-and-a-half years ago, on grass. The Aussie has earned three wins against Top 10 players, and will be looking to reach the third round at his home Grand Slam for the third time.
Ebden, who was ranked No. 699 just two years ago due to injury, may not blow the second seed off the court, but he likes to come into net and play aggressively, so don’t expect him to sit back and play defence against Nadal.
Third seed Federer will clash against Brit Daniel Evans, who advanced to the fourth round at Melbourne Park in his last appearance at the event, two years ago. Federer defeated Evans at Wimbledon in 2018 with the loss of just eight games, but the 37-year-old Swiss is fully focused on the task at hand.
“He's got all the shots. Likes to take chances, takes the ball early,” Federer said of Evans. “It's nice to see him back on the [ATP] Tour as well. I'm happy for him that he won his first round.”
While World No. 189 Evans has already won four matches at this Australian Open — three to qualify and another in the main draw — history is not on his side. Federer’s last loss against an opponent ranked as low as the Brit came in August 2000, when the Swiss was only 19 years old.
Fifth seed Kevin Anderson and sixth seed Marin Cilic will also look to move into the third round, with Anderson facing 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier Frances Tiafoe and Cilic clashing with American Mackenzie McDonald.
Anderson defeated Tiafoe in all three of their matches last year, but Tiafoe was able to win a set in two of those clashes. The favoured South African is fresh off his triumph at the Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune, India.
Cilic faces a foe in McDonald, who has plenty of experience against top players at the Australian Open. Last year, McDonald extended 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov to five sets in the second round. He also reached the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2018. Cilic battled to the final in Melbourne last year, falling to Federer in five sets.
Leading the #NextGenATP charge on Wednesday are No. 14 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and Sydney titlist Alex de Minaur, the 27th seed. They both are trying to reach the third round at the Australian Open for the first time, with each playing a qualifier.
Tsitsipas faces a tricky test in Serbian Viktor Troicki, who has made the third round in Melbourne four times. Tsitsipas brings his elegant one-handed backhand to the court, and Troicki’s strength is arguably his solid two-handed backhand.
De Minaur has won eight of his nine matches this season, and he’ll look to make it seven consecutive victories when he plays World No. 166 Henri Laaksonen, whose best win by ATP Ranking came against World No. 21 Marco Cecchinato in Basel last October.
The doubles event gets started on Day Three as well, with Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan leading the way. This is their first Grand Slam together since last year's Australian Open, in which they made the semi-finals. Two-time Nitto ATP Finals champions Henri Kontinen/John Peers also begin their tournament, as do fifth seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.
[ALSO LIKE]More Matches To Watch On Wednesday:- No. 22 Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) v John Millman (AUS)
- No. 30 Gael Monfils (FRA) v Taylor Fritz (USA)
- No. 20 Dimitrov (BUL) v Pablo Cuevas (URU)

“Venus: She’s Got It” was the message on one fan’s sign at the Australian Open on Tuesday. For much of her first-round match with Mihaela Buzarnescu, though, that sentiment seemed much more hopeful than it did realistic. When the contest began, the 38-year-old Williams was walking slowly between points, and the compression sleeve on her right arm looked ominous—it was bright and pink, yes, but still ominous. In her opening service game, Venus tossed the ball waywardly and was forced to catch it four straight times. She was decelerating on her forehand and dropping into the net. Even her new, free-flowing hairstyle was bothering her.
This was Williams’ first Grand Slam match in more than a decade without her longtime coach, David Witt; that most-stable of tennis partnerships finally ended in the off-season, after Venus dropped out of the Top 10 and all the way down to No. 38—that’s why Buzarnescu was the seed in this contest, rather than the seven-time Grand Slam champion. Williams’ decline began at last year’s Australian Open, when she lost in the opening round to Belinda Bencic. Early losses at the French Open and Wimbledon followed, and she pulled the plug on her season after a quick defeat at the hands of her sister Serena at the US Open. Was she going to stumble at the starting gate again in 2019? Twenty years after her debut Down Under, were we finally witnessing the long-anticipated, long-defied fadeaway of one of tennis’ most enduring champions? Should that fan’s sign have read, “Venus: She’s Had It” instead?
If you’ve been watching Venus long enough, you know that it’s just when thoughts like this begin to creep into your mind that she immediately erases them again. She began to do that midway through the first set against Buzarnescu. Unable to serve all-out, Williams relied on her slow, sliding slice instead. Instead of leaning back on her forehand, as she did at the start, she made a point of getting up to it and attacking it. When Buzarnescu served for the match at 5-3 in the second set, Venus, perhaps aware of the Romanian’s penchant for blowing big leads, dialed back her aggressiveness and waited for Buzarnescu’s nerves to kick in–which they did. By the third set, Williams was in command, and she closed her 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3), 6-2 win with that rarest of gestures from her: A fist-pump, a “Come on!” and a stare across the net that would have done her sister proud.
“I’m banking on my experience,” Williams said when she was asked what it was like to play without Witt. Some wondered whether she would be “match tough” in Melbourne, having entered just one tournament since the US Open. But can someone who has played 1,025 matches since turning pro 25 years ago ever be anything other than match tough?
“I just tried to play better,” Venus said afterward, in her customarily straightforward, no frills fashion. For her, competing is simple, so there’s no reason to complicate it for the media. “I mean, there were moments when it looked like maybe she had the match at that time. I just kind of forgot the score and kind of focused on my game.”
“Every point is another one you can win,” she said. You can add that to the ever-growing list of Venus Williams’s Mystically Wise Tennis Quotes.
What is Venus’ secret to everlasting tennis life? I’d say it’s about always remembering who she is. She’s known who she was, and what she was going to be—a champion—since her father, Richard, embedded the idea in her head when she was a little girl. “Brainwashing” is how Venus has laughingly described the ways in which Richard convinced her that she was going to be a world-beater. Whatever he did, that sense of herself has never left Venus, and it allows her to play the long game when it comes to her career. Losing streaks, devastating defeats, dips in rankings, injuries, illnesses, burnout: Venus can ignore all of the problems that normally plague a pro player, because she knows that, sooner or later, she’ll be Venus Williams again.
In 2017, Venus’ run to the Australian Open final launched her toward one of the best seasons of her career. In 2018, her first round loss in Melbourne led to one of her most disappointing. Will this opening-round comeback win over a quality opponent kick-start another climb up the rankings? Will Venus be Venus again in 2019? Her 25-year career tells us we can never rule it out.
For today, Venus was happy to live in the moment and do the one thing she loves to do most: Get a win. When it was over, she walked out to the middle of the court, waved to the crowd, and went into her traditional victory twirl. She didn’t make it all the way around quite as quickly she might have in the distant past, but she made it. And her grin was as wide as it has ever been. She’s still got it.
Kickoff each day of the 2019 Australian Open with Tennis Channel Live, reviewing the day's most important news and previewing the day's biggest matches. Watch LIVE at 6 p.m. ET.
Follow the Australian Open even closer with Tennis Channel PLUS. Go to BuyTCPlus.com and subscribe now!

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Eleven years ago, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga arrived in Melbourne Park as the No. 38 player in the ATP Rankings. The year before, the Frenchman had been ousted in the first round. But Tsonga became the story of the Australian Open, defeating four Top 15 players to reach the final, which was his first at tour-level.
Tsonga defeated second seed Rafael Nadal in less than two hours in the semi-finals, and his high-energy brand of tennis, and of course his enthusiastic post-match celebrations, immediately became a fans’ favourite and fixture in the sport. While he lost that championship match to Novak Djokovic, a first-time Grand Slam winner, it was a moment Tsonga will never forget.
“It was great. The stadium was full. A lot of Serbians of course, but also a lot of French and a lot of Australians,” Tsonga remembered. “That was a good final, so I have good memories. Of course for me, it was disappointing to lose. But anyway, it was good memories.”
With that success, though, came expectations. Tsonga has claimed 16 ATP Tour titles in his career, won more than $21 million in prize money and climbed as high as No. 5 in the ATP Rankings. But his Cinderella run to the 2008 Australian Open final also made fans hungrier to see him take it a step further.
“When you come from nowhere, nobody expects you to play that good and everybody’s cheering for you. You’re new. And after that, everybody wants something for you that you want, but you know that it’s going to take time to be consistent at this level,” Tsonga said. “All the people say that and say, ‘Okay, now you’re the best or one of the best’ and you have to be the best all the time, which is not easy to deal with, of course.”
Last April, Tsonga underwent left knee surgery to repair an injury that kept him out for seven months. And when the Frenchman returned in September, he managed to win just one of his six matches, watching his ATP Ranking fall to No. 262, his lowest point in more than a decade. So inevitably, there were times when Tsonga pondered his future.
“It’s not very easy because you have to test your mind. You have to really know if you still want to play and make the effort to come back at the best level,” Tsonga said. “But at the same time it’s really good because when you are sure that you want to come back and make all the sacrifices to be at a good level, it means that you are really motivated and ready to compete again.”Watch Tsonga Press Conference
So it’s almost fitting that Tsonga, who defeated Martin Klizan in straight sets on Tuesday, will play World No. 1 Djokovic in the second round at Melbourne Park. As he pushes back towards the top of the sport, it’s as if he’s back where he started 11 years ago.
“Today it’s like I’m back in 2007, 2008. People expect less from me,” Tsonga said. “It’s also something good for me. I work on my side and I try to come back and be better on court and I hope I will be able to do good things again.”
Djokovic dealt with his own injury in 2018, recovering from a right elbow procedure and a 6-6 start to his season to finish as the year-end No.1 in the ATP Rankings. So he could understand what Tsonga is going through.
“It's funny. I mean, 11 years after our first Grand Slam final here, it feels like a lot has happened for both of us. He also struggled with injuries lately. It's good to see him playing well. It's good to see him back,” Djokovic said. “He's another great player, champion, someone that has been very successful in the past — an established Top 10 player, who played a Grand Slam final. [He’s] just very powerful: [his] serve, forehand, big weapons… I'm going to approach it as any other match, to be honest. Really optimistic, but also respectful, trying to do whatever I can to win it.”
Tsonga knows that he still has to regain match rhythm and will continue to rebuild his body physically to return to his best form. But for now, as motivated as ever, this match against Djokovic will be an opportunity.
“I will go on court without pressure. But we always have a little pressure, because I’m competing and when I go on court I always want to win,” Tsonga said. “But I will go a little bit more free than when I play someone else.
“I will try to take my chance, and live in the moment.”