Australian Open: Rublev tames Thiem, Sabalenka and Garcia stroll as Melbourne sizzles | Tennis News



MELBOURNE: fifth seed Andrei Rublev ended the australian open former Grand Slam champion Dominic Thiem’s ​​campaign in the first round on Tuesday when he overpowered the Austrian 6-3 6-4 6-2 on a sweltering John Cain Arena.
Thiem, a Melbourne Park runner-up and 2020 US Open champion, is on his way back from a wrist injury and has only been able to compete against the lanky Russian’s power to some extent.
In a match peppered with high quality exchanges between the two basemen, Rublev took a 5-3 lead in the first set, 5-4 in the second and, after a huge roar, 2-1 in the third.
Thiem just couldn’t get a foothold in the contest and Rublev, 25, a quarter-finalist at the Australian Open in 2021, served for the match after just over two hours on the court.
“We are very good friends and I know he is going through not so easy times… and I hope he can get back to the level he belongs to as soon as possible,” Rublev said of the former number. three global.
“It’s super hot today so I’m super happy that I was able to win in straight sets and save some energy for the next game.
“The hotter it gets, the harder it is to make the right decisions, the harder it is to move. When you start to think the other person feels the same, it’s a little easier.”
Rublev, like all Russian and Belarusian players, is taking part in the tournament without a national affiliation following the invasion of Ukraine last year.
Tennis Australia on Tuesday morning banned fans from bringing flags of either nation into the grounds of Melbourne Park after a Russian tricolor was hung from a bush next to a pitch where the Ukrainian Kateryna Baindl was playing on Monday.
EXTREME HEAT
The heat was the other main topic of conversation on day two of the championships as temperatures soared to an expected high of 36 degrees Celsius (96.8°F).
Play was suspended on the outdoor courts shortly after 2:00 p.m. (0300 GMT) local time when the tournament’s extreme heat policy kicked in.
Top female seeds Aryna Sabalenka and Caroline Garcia spent as little time as possible on the Rod Laver Arena in their opening matches in the first Grand Slam of the year.
Fifth-seeded Sabalenka, who opened the year by winning the Adelaide International 1 title without dropping a set, maintained her fine form with an emphatic 6-1 6-4 win over Tereza Martincova.
“It wasn’t such an easy game and I’m super happy to start with a win,” said the Belarusian.
“I have to work on my mindset, not get upset with every mistake I make, I really believe that’s the only thing missing from my game.”
The fourth-seeded Garcia, who won the WTA Finals last season, was equally convincing with a 6-3 6-0 win over the Canadian qualifier Catherine Sebov in just over an hour.
Garcia will next face another Canadian in 2021 US Open finalist Leylah Fernandezwho came back from an early breakdown to beat Alize Cornet 7-5 6-2.
Italian Martina Trevisan was the first seed to fall on Tuesday. The 21st seed lost 6-3 6-2 to Slovakian qualifier Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
Novak Djokovic will begin his bid for a record 10th title at Melbourne Park against Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena in the final match of the day at Rod Laver Arena.



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