Tears for Kvitova as Bouchard sets up Halep meeting
Simona Halep booked her place in the Australian Open second round where Eugenie Bouchard awaits after the pair secured straight-sets victories on Tuesday.
Day two in Melbourne saw top seed Halep come through against Destanee Aiava, despite rolling her ankle, while Bouchard got the better of Oceane Dodin.
Third seed Garbine Muguruza made short work of Jessika Ponchet while the likes of Johanna Konta, Karolina Pliskova and Maria Sharapova also progressed.
There was an early exit for an emotional Petra Kvitova, however, the two-time Wimbledon champion bowing out following an epic deciding set with Andrea Petkovic.
HALEP AND BOUCHARD THE HIGHLIGHT IN ROUND TWO
Familiar injury problems reared their head in worrying fashion for Halep, who rolled her left ankle during the second set against Aiava.
The Romanian, who has been dumped out in round one at this grand slam in each of the past two years, survived a scare in recovering from 5-2 down to the world number 193 in the opening set to prevail 7-6 (7-5) 6-1.
Bouchard set up a second-round meeting with Halep by seeing off Dodin 6-3 7-6 (7-5) and the top seed does not believe her ankle scare will prevent her facing the Canadian.
"I'm not thinking about that," she said. "I'm used to the ankle...so I don't believe that I will stop. But, you know, first the priority is always the health. So, I will see. In my opinion, I will be able to play."
"I feel that I never give up now. I improved in this way. I feel pretty solid on myself. Today I just showed that I can do it. So I want just to keep this feeling."@Simona_Halep#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/nsKXwqHon6-- #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 16, 2018
KVITOVA CRASHES OUT AFTER FINAL-SET THRILLER
Kvitova conceded she was close to tears as she left the court following her 6-3 4-6 10-8 defeat to Petkovic.
The Czech recovered from 4-0 down in the third, saved three match points at 5-4 down and twice served for the match at 6-5 and 8-7. But Petkovic broke back on both occasions and sealed her second-round spot, leaving Kvitova to reflect on the bigger picture.
"When I was leaving the court, I really felt it," she said. "It caught me a little bit, the emotions, I was pretty happy in the end, so... I'm glad that I'm still able to play tennis. That's important."
KONTA LEFT FEELING BLUE OVER HER BERRIES
Ninth seed Konta eased through thanks to a 6-3 6-1 success over Madison Brengle, but all was not well for the Brit, who was left to rue a shopping mishap.
"I went to the supermarket to buy blueberries. I only bought blueberries, two punnets," she said. "I left two punnets of blueberries there. It's five dollars I won't get back. It's actually more the betrayal in my own mind I feel so upset about. I was so sad.
"Clearly I'm not over the blueberry debacle. No, I'm happy to come through today and I'm just looking forward to playing again on Thursday. I now need to go again to buy blueberries."
"I was really enjoying being out there. It was a nice day. It was sunny. It was quite a full stadium. There was a lot of people. I kind of tried to absorb the atmosphere a little bit."@JoKonta91#AusOpenpic.twitter.com/BziNfmRXx3-- #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 16, 2018
BAGELS ALL ROUND AS HSIEH SEES OFF ZHU
In a bizarre match between Hsieh Su-wei and Zhu Lin, there was a fiercely-contested deciding set which was a far cry from what had gone before.
World number 114 Zhu took the first set 6-0, only for Taiwan's Hsieh to reply in kind with a bagel of her own.
Anyone expecting a swift conclusion one way or the other was mistaken, however, as Hsieh was twice pegged back having broken, before eventually clinching the decider 8-6.