Photo: Australian Open
Canadian women had mixed results on day one of the 2023 Australian Open, as Bianca Andreescu scored an upset while Rebecca Marino was eliminated.
In her first grand slam match of the 2023 season, Andreescu posted an impressive 6-2, 6-4 upset victory over Czech Marie Bouzkova, the no. 25 seed in the women’s draw, in Melbourne on Sunday night.
The two players kicked off proceedings on Court 3 to contest one of the marquee first round matches and Andreescu was certainly up to the task in the face of a tough draw. The 22-year-old broke Bouzkova’s serve both early and late in the first set while also saving the only break point she faced to take the early lead.
Andreescu continued her aggressive approach in set two. She moved forward with intent and employed all of her variety. She saved two break points at 3-3 and Bouzkova returned the favour in the following game. Just like she did in the opening frame, the Canadian proceeded to break her opponent for the third time in the final game to book her spot in round two where she will face Spanish qualifier Cristina Busca. The winner of that match could face World No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the third round.
Andreescu managed to earn her first victory in Melbourne since 2021 thanks to 23 winners and a stellar success rate at the net where she won 15 of 18 points. Confidence moving forward is key to her game plan and she showed why in her Australian Open debut this year.
Marino falls in opener
Rebecca Marino was unable to join her countrywoman in the second round, as she was beaten by Lin Zhu of China in straight sets.
The Canadian No. 3 fell behind early in the first set and was never able to recover as she played catch-up for the rest of the match on her way to a 6-2, 6-4 loss.
Marino falls to 2-6 in her career in main draw matches in Melbourne.
Normally the serve is the Canadian’s biggest weapon, but it let her down on Monday as she only put 56 per cent of her first serves in play and won just 52 per cent of points on both her first and second serves respectively. She did herself few favours in the rallies, committing 21 unforced errors.
Zhu wasted little time taking control of the match, breaking serve in the third game when Marino missed a forehand.
A second break was critical for Zhu as Marino did manage to break back for 2-4, only for her opponent to immediately return the favour as the Chinese needed just 29 minutes to take the opening set.
Another early break put Zhu ahead in the second and this time she never let her foot off the gas, riding that one break to victory.
Leylah Annie Fernandez will attempt to join Andreescu in round two when she takes to the court on Monday.