8 February - 21 February 2021

Australian Open

Melbourne Park, Australia

Australian Open 2021: Daily updates from Melbourne

  • 21/02/2021

  • Australian Open

Highlights

  • Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram beaten 6-3, 6-4 in men's doubles final by Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek
  • Alfie Hewett produces epic comeback but misses out on the men's wheelchair singles title 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 to Joachim Gerard
  • Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid win the men's wheelchair doubles title after defeating Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer 7-5 7-6 (3)

Day 14: Salisbury and Ram beaten in men's doubles final

Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury discuss a point during the 2021 Australian Open men's doubles final

Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram were unable to defend their men's doubles title after they were beaten 6-3, 6-4 by Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek in the Australian Open final.

Britain's Salisbury and his American partner Ram were aiming to become the first men's doubles partnership since the Bryan brothers in 2011 to successfully defend their title in Melbourne, but they were outdone by Croatia's Dodig and Slovakia's Polasek.

While both sets were only decided by one break, Salisbury and Ram failed to register a single break point opportunity during the contest, while Dodig and Polasek gained 15 break points throughout the match.

In the end it was a Polasek smash volley that sealed victory, and made Polasek just the second Slovak to win a Grand Slam title in doubles or singles, after four-time mixed doubles champion Daniela Hantuchova. 

Polasek, 35, also came out of retirement in 2018 to carry on with his tennis career, while Dodig's Australian Open win was his second men’s doubles Grand Slam title after triumphing at Roland Garros in 2015 with Brazil's Marcelo Melo.

The defeat denied Ram a double at Melbourne Park this year after he won the mixed doubles title with the Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova yesterday.

“Filip, I know it’s your first Grand Slam,” Ram said. “That was way too good. Not sure what we could have done any different, so you guys played awesome.”

Day 12: Salisbury and Ram beat Murray and Soares in battle of the Brits

Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram

 Joe Salisbury is one more victory away from winning back-to-back Australian Open titles after reaching the men's doubles final for the second year in a row.

Salisbury and American partner Rajeev Ram, the defending champions and fifth seeds, defeated Jamie Murray and  Brazil's Bruno Soares 6-4, 7-6 (2) in a firecely contested semi-final in Melbourne. 

Salisbury and Ram needed an hour and 45 minutes to overcome sixth seeds Murray and Soares, who were previously undefeated since they reunited at the start of the year.

The British, American duo dominated on their first serve, winning 81 per cent of first serve points compared to just 64 per cent for Murray and Soares, and converted two of three break points whereas their opponents broke only once from two opportunities.

"I think it just took us a little bit of time to get into the match," said Salisbury. "The conditions were a bit different today. Obviously very hot, the court is pretty lively. 

"We just improved throughout the match. I think we struggled a little bit on return games in the first set, but we were serving well, so we knew if we stuck in there and played a good tie-break we could do it."

Salisbury and Ram will play Croatia's Ivan Dodig and Slovakia's Filip Polasek, who are seeded ninth, in Sunday's final.

Salisbury also had the chance to reach the mixed doubles final, but he and his American partner Desirae Krawczyk were beaten 7-5, 5-7, 10-8 by Australian wildcards Sam Stosur and Matt Ebden in the last four.

Day 11: Salisbury reaches mixed doubles semi-finals 

Joe Salisbury hits a return at the net

Joe Salisbury advanced to the final four of the Australian Open mixed doubles tournament with partner Desirae Krawczyk following a 6-3, 6-4 victory over fellow Brit Neal Skupski and Andreja Klepač.

Salisbury, who won the 2020 men's Australian Open doubles title, moved into the final four of the men's doubles event earlier this week and is now firmly in contention for two titles following a comprehensive victory today.

Salisbury and his American partner Krawczyk won a decisive break in each set having twice fended off breaks in the opener, and prevailed in a match lasting one hour and 10 minutes.

They will face Australian wildcard pair Samantha Stosur and Matthew Ebden in the semi-finals.

Day 10: Murray and Salisbury to battle it out in semi-finals as Hewett bows out in an epic

Quarter-final wins for Joe Salisbury and Jamie Murray mean both players will now face off in the Australian Open men’s doubles semi-finals while Alfie Hewett was denied his fifth Grand Slam singles title on Day 10 in Melbourne.

First up on the Margret Court Arena were Salisbury and Rajeev Ram, who defeated Austrian, New Zealand partnership, Philipp Oswald and Marcus Daniell 7-6 (6), 6-2.

Salisbury and Ram didn’t face a single break point in the match and won an incredible 90% of their points on first serve in a dominant display. Their quality on serve proved the difference and after they clinched a tight first set tie-break, the match opened up and they took the opportunity to seal the victory.

Meanwhile Murray and Soares’ winning start to 2021 goes from strength to strength after a comfortable 6-3, 6-4 over Marcelo Arevalo and Matwe Middlekoop.

The 2016 champions stretch their unbeaten run to eight matches after producing one of their most convincing wins of the tournament so far. The British, Brazilian pairing outplayed Arevalo and Middlekoop, racking up a total of 28 winners, to their opponents nine.

Both victories mean that Britain is guaranteed to have a finalist in this year’s Australian Open men’s doubles, with Salisbury and Murray set to play each other in the next round.

Salisbury and Ram will be aiming to become the first back-to-back finalists in Melbourne since Mike and Bob Bryan from 2009-2013, whereas Murray and Soares will be gunning for their first Grand Slam final since the US Open in 2016. Details of the when the match is scheduled are yet to be announced.

In the men’s wheelchair singles final, Britain’s Alfie Hewett produced one of the finest comebacks of his illustrious career, but ultimately his heroic efforts were not quite enough as Belgium’s Joachim Gerard claimed the men’s singles title 6-0, 4-6, 6-4.

Hewett, who saved a total of six match points in the final set against Gerard, will still return home later this week with his latest Grand Slam trophy after partnering Gordon Reid to win their second successive Australian Open men’s doubles trophy on Tuesday.

Day 9: Hewett and Reid equal all-time British doubles record

Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid were crowned Australian Open champions after they defeated Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer 7-5 7-6 (3).

Hewett and Reid are now Britain’s joint most successful doubles pairing after lifting a record equalling 10th Grand Slam title together – a record they share with brothers Laurie and Reginald Doherty, who won 10 slams between 1897 and 1905.

Tomorrow, Hewett returns to face Joachim Gerard in the men’s wheelchair singles final, for a chance at his fifth Grand Slam singles title.

Elsewhere, Lucy Shuker and Kgothatso Montjane lost their women’s wheelchair doubles final to Dutch number one seeds, Diede de Groot and Aniek van Koot, 6-4, 6-1.

Andy Lapthorne and David Wagner were locked into a close final in the quad doubles against home-favourites Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson. After losing the first set, Lapthorne and Wagner fought back valiantly to force the match tie-break. With the match in the balance, the Australian’s managed to eventually pull ahead and sealed a 6-2, 3-6, 10-7 victory. 

In the mixed doubles, Joe Salisbury and American doubles star Desirae Krawczyk are through to the quarter-finals after beating Marcelo Melo and Vera Zonareva 6-4, 6-4.

It was troubling signs for Salisbury and Krawczyk in the opening exchanges as the duo went behind an early break off their first service game. With the initial nerves out of the way, Salisbury and Krawczyk quickly turned things around, hitting straight back at the Brazilian, Russian pairing before eventually going on to edge a tight match.

Salisbury will now play in both the men’s and mixed doubles quarter-finals as his excellent form in Melbourne continues to grow from strength to strength.

They will face fellow Brit Neal Skupski and Andreja Klepac after they defeated Filip Polasek and Lucie Hradecka 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5), 10-8, in what was undoubtedly the most tightly contested match of the day.

Skupski will be hoping that to repeat his brilliant mixed doubles run at the Australian Open back in 2019, where he and his then partner, María José Martínez Sánchez, reached the semi-finals.

Day 8: Murray and Salisbury continue winning runs as Hewett, Reid, Shuker and Lapthorne reach finals

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares extended their winning start to 2021 after beating Simone Bolelli and Maximo Gonzalez 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-4.

The British, Brazilian duo dropped only their second set in seven matches this season as they booked their spot in the quarter-finals. Up next for Murray and Soares will be El Salvador’s Marcelo Arevalo and his Dutch partner Matwe Middelkoop.

Also flying the flag for Great Britain in the men’s doubles, 2020 champion Joe Salisbury secured his place in back-to-back Australian Open quarter-finals with a straight set victory. Fifth seeds Salisbury and Rajeev Ram defeated John Peers and Michael Venus 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4).

Having lost to the Australian, New Zealand team on their only other meeting in Dubai last year, Salisbury and Ram will take huge confidence into the next round where they will play Marcus Daniell and Philipp Oswald.

If both Murray and Salisbury win their respective quarter-final match-ups, they will battle it out in the semi-finals for a shot at the title.

However, Murray was later denied a double victory on day eight as he and Bethanie Mattek-Sands were knocked out of the mixed doubles, losing 7-6 (7), 5-7, 10-3 to Mate Pavic and Gabriella Dabrowski. Murray and Mattek-Sands put in a gutsy display, saving 11 out of 12 break points in the opening two sets, but the third seeds seized control in the match tie-break to see out the win.

Heather Watson and Leylah Fernandez’s doubles run at the Australian Open came to an end at the hands of Sharon Fichman and Guiliana Olmos. The Canadian, Mexican pairing proved too strong for Watson and Fernandez, clinching the match 6-3, 6-2.

Britain's Alfie Hewett recovered from a 3-0 first set deficit to beat world No.1 Shingo Kunieda of Japan 6-3, 6-4 to reach his first Australian Open singles final. The world No.3 will now play Belgium’s Joachim Gerard for the title on Wednesday in a rematch of last October’s French Open final in Paris, a contest that Hewett won. Gerard beat Gordon Reid 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the day's other semi-final clash.

Later in the day defending champions Hewett and Reid came from 7-5 down in the deciding match tie-break of their men’s doubles semi-final to defeat Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez and Kunieda 6-1, 4-6, 10-7. They face French duo Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer in Tuesday’s final as they bid for their record-equalling 10th Grand Slam doubles title together.

Lucy Shuker will contest her first Australian Open women’s doubles final since 2013 after partnering South Africa’s Kgothatso Montjane to beat the Colombia’s Angelica Bernal and Chile’s Macarena Cabrillana 6-1, 6-4. 

Andy Lapthorne made his way to the quad doubles final with partner David Wagner after a commanding 6-1, 6-4 win over  Koji Sugeno and Nicholas Taylor. Awaiting them in the final will be Australian team Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson.

However, Lapthorne missed out on a place in the singles final after losing 6-2, 6-3 to Sam Schroder.

Day 7: Hewett, Reid and Lapthorne all make bright starts

Gordon Reid in action

Andy Lapthorne, Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett booked their places in the semi-finals of the Australian Open after a series of impressive performances on the opening day of singles wheelchair tennis events in Melbourne.

Lapthorne made history when he won the first ever quad singles knockout quarter-final at an Australian Open, defeating the USA’s David Wagner 6-1, 6-4. After opening up a 6-1, 3-0 lead, Lapthorne regrouped to close out a victory that earns him a semi-final against Dutchman Sam Schroder.

Reigning Roland Garros champion Hewett found a way of winning ugly against Frenchman Nicolas Peifer. The Brit recovered from 2-0 down to take the opening set, before going on to end the match with an ace for a 7-5, 6-4 victory that sets up a semi-final against World No.1 Shingo Kunieda.

Reid needed six match points before joining Hewett in the semi-finals after a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Argentina’s World No.2 Fernandez. The World No.5 fell 3-1 behind in the final set, but dug deep to keep himself in the match and forced Fernandez into a final backhand error to set up a repeat of his 2020 semi-final against Belgian Joachim Gerard. 

Lucy Shuker’s 11th Australian Open began with a 6-2, 6-2 loss to Roland Garros finalist Momoko Ohtani. Shuker now turns her attention to Monday’s doubles semi-finals with South African partner Kgothatso Monttjane.

Elsewhere Neal Skupski and his Slovenian partner Andreja Klepač won an epic first round match in the mixed doubles tournament 6-2, 5-7, 12-10.  

Day 6: Norrie falls to Nadal in entertaining third round clash 

After an excellent run at the Australian Open, Britain's Cam Norrie bowed out 7-5, 6-2, 7-5 to World No.2 Rafael Nadal.

The British No.3 fought hard against the 20-time Grand Slam champion and even took an early break in the opening set, but the Spaniard kept his composure. He broke back straight away and his powerful groundstrokes began to take over the key rallies - making what was already a difficult task even more challenging for the Brit.

Norrie never let the match slip too far away – he showed fantastic grit and determination throughout, asking difficult questions of Nadal and consistently forcing him to play the extra shot.

Sadly however, it wasn’t to be Norrie’s day, as every slight opportunity that came his way quickly disappeared at the hands of Nadal, who hasn't dropped a set so far in this year's Australian Open.

The 25-year-old Brit will take a lot of positives from the match and the way he battled, setting himself up well for the rest of the season ahead.

Day 6: Salisbury maintains unbeaten run as Murray marches on in the mixed

Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram made it eight wins out of their last eight matches at the Australian Open after beating Tomislav Brkic and Aisam Ul Haq Qureshi 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.

The British, American duo dominated the first set, but Brkic and Qureshi made an inspired comeback late in the second to force the decider. It would only be a minor lapse for the reigning champions, though, and they broke serve on their first opportunity in the third and stormed on to victory.

They will face 10th seeds and fellow Nitto ATP Tour finalists John Peers and Michael Venus for a place in the quarter-finals.

Over in the mixed doubles, it was a winning start for 2020 finalists and two-time US Open champions, Jamie Murray and Bethanie Mattek-Sands. They defeated Rohan Bopanna and Ying-Ying Duan 6-4, 6-4.

Meanwhile, Ken and Neal Skupski lost out in a close battle with Australian, Brazilian team, John Millman and Thiago Monteiro 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Fellow all-British pair, Luke Bambridge and Dom Inglot also fell in the second round 6-4, 7-5 to experienced doubles stars Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek.

Rounding off the doubles action, Dan Evans’ Australian Open came to an end as he and Moldovan partner Radu Albot, fell 6-1, 7-6 (2) to Marcelo Melo and Horia Tecau.

Day 5: Murray, Watson and Salisbury progress in doubles

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares in action in Melbourne

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares continue to impress as they reached the last 16 of the Australian Open with a resounding 6-1, 6-2 victory over Serbia's Laslo Djere and Italy's Stefano Travaglia.

The Brit, Brazlian combination - who triumphed in the Australian Open in 2016 - have now won six straight matches together in 2021.

Sixth seeds Murray and Soares, who won two Grand Slam titles together before splitting up in 2019, will take on Italy's Simone Bolelli and Argentina's Maximo Gonzalez in the next round.

Elsewhere there was more British success in the women's doubles with Heather Watson winning her second round match alongside Canadaian teenager Leylah Fernandez 7-5, 6-2 over Australians Olivia Gadecki and Belinda Woolcock.

Next up for Watson and Fernadnez are the Mexican-Canadian duo Giuliana Olmos and Sharon Fichman, who they will take on for a place in the quarter-finals.

Joe Salisbury, the reigning doubles men' s champion alongside American Rajeev Ram, was also victorious in his opening contest in the mixed doubles. 

Alongside American Desirae Krawczyk they defeated Colombia's Juan Sebastian Cabal and Taiwan's Chan Hao-ching, the fourth seeds, in an epic 6-4, 3-6, 10-7 match.

Day 5: Draw made for wheelchair events

Alfie Hewett in action

Brits Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid, Lucy Shuker and Andy Lapthorne have managed to avoid each other and top seeded opposition in their respective draws for the Australian Open wheelchair tennis events, which get under way on Sunday and Monday.

Three-time singles finalist and second seed Lapthorne plays his doubles partner, American David Wagner, in the first ever Australian Open quad singles draw to feature eight players before they pair up on Monday for the opening day of quad doubles competition. Already three-time doubles champions, Lapthorne and Wagner play Japan’s Koji Sugeno and American Nick Taylor for a place in this year’s final.

Reid, the 2016 men’s singles champion and last year’s runner-up, plays Argentina’s world No.2 Gustavo Fernandez for a place in the men’s singles semi-finals, while Hewett meets Nicolas Peifer of France. Already nine-time Grand Slam champions together, Hewett and Reid will open their men’s doubles title defence and their quest for a record-equalling tenth Grand Slam title with a semi-final against Fernandez and Japan’s Shingo Kunieda, a partnership the Brits have beaten in nine of their 10 previous head-to-heads at the Grand Slams.

Already two-time women’s doubles finalists in Australia this month, Victorian Open and Melbourne Open runners-up Shuker and KG Montjane of South Africa once again face Colombia’s Angelica Bernal and Chile’s Macarena Cabrillana for the third tournament in a row as Shuker bids for a place in her third Australian Open doubles final. Shuker plays Japan’s Momoko Ohtani in her women’s singles quarter-final on Sunday.

Day 4: Norrie through to the third round on another strong day for British doubles

Cam Norrie equalled his best Grand Slam result to date, reaching the third round of the Australian Open men’s singles, as Joe Salisbury, Neal Skupski, Ken Skupski, Dom Inglot and Luke Bambridge all picked up big wins on day four.

After winning his first ever match in Melbourne against Dan Evans on Tuesday, Norrie beat Russian opponent Roman Safiullin 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (3).

After recovering from an early break, Safiullin began to take control in the first set, playing at a high intensity and matching Norrie shot for shot.

The Russian took the opener but Norrie instantly replied in the second and once he clinched a tense set, he never looked back.

A rain delay in the fourth meant that play had to stop and the match was later moved onto the Margret Court Arena. Here the 25-year-old wrapped up the win with an impressive tie-break to move into the third round, where he’ll face World No.2, Rafael Nadal.

Defending champion Salisbury and his American partner Rajeev Ram, picked up where they left off in 2020 with a 6-4, 6-4 win over fellow Brit Jonny O’Mara and Artem Sitak.

Salisbury and Ram won an astonishing 93% of points on their first serve in the match and only needed a couple of break point opportunities to seize the victory.

Experience proved the difference for the Skupski brothers, who defeated highly-rated singles stars Felix Auger-Aliassime and Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 6-2. They will face home-favourite John Millman and Brazilian teammate Thiago Monteiro in the next round.

In perhaps the tightest match of the day Bambridge and Inglot beat Aljaz Bedene and Jiri Vesely 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (7). The all-British pair will now play ninth seeds Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek for a spot in the third round.

Heather Watson’s Australian Open singles journey came to an end after she bowed out 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-2 in a close match with World No.22, Anett Kontaveit.

Despite falling behind 3-0 early in the opening set, the 28-year-old Brit showed immense character to not only level the score and take the Estonian to a tie-break. Once again however, Watson found herself 5-2 down but showed great determination to win the next five points on the bounce to seal a brilliant one set lead.

With momentum continuing to swing between the two players, Kontaveit took back control in the second set as she completed back-to-back breaks on her only first and only opportunities. It was a similar story in the third, as Watson struggled to hold. After two hours and 19 minutes, the 2020 quarter-finalist completed her comeback victory.

Day 3: Murray, Evans and Watson advance in doubles events

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares in action in Melbourne

Brits Jamie Murray, Dan Evans and Heather Watson all triumphed in their opening doubles matches at this year’s Australian Open on day three in Melbourne.

Fresh from victory last week in the Great Ocean Road Open, Murray and his Brazilian partner Bruno Soares proved too good for their opponents sealing a straight sets win over Britain’s Cam Norrie and American Marcos Giron 7-6(6), 6-3.

Murray and Soares – who won the Australian Open as a pairing in 2016 – rejoined forces for the 2021 campaign and are so far unbeaten in five matches together.

Elsewhere Heather Watson followed a first round singles win with another victory alongside Canada's Leylah Fernandez as the unseeded pair beat 10th seeds Sam Stosur and Zhang Shuai 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

Dan Evans, who won his first ATP Tour title last week but was beaten by Norrie in the first round of the Australian Open singles, partnered Moldova's Radu Albot to a 6-2, 6-3 victory against Argentina's Andres Molteni and Monaco's Hugo Nys.

While Watson is the only British woman competing in the doubles tournament, there are a record nine British players  in the men's event.

Reigning Australian Open champion Joe Salisbury, who plays with America’s Rajeev Ram, gets his title defence under way tomorrow.

Day 2: Heather Watson and Cam Norrie sail through to the second round

Cam Norrie came out on top in the all-British first round clash, beating Dan Evans 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Having won three out of their four previous meetings coming into this match, Norrie started strong against Evans, who claimed his first ATP title in Melbourne last week.

The 25-year-old Brit held his nerve in the biggest moments of the match, which eventually proved to be the difference between the two.

After losing the second set, Norrie instantly bounced back to take the advantage in the third and held serve to re-capture a 2-1 lead. Evans had an opportunity to serve out for the fourth set at 5-3, but again, Norrie dug deep to not only break back, but win the next four games in a row – securing a well-deserved victory.

Norrie will play either Ilya Ivashka or Roman Safiullin for the chance to set up a potential match-up with World No.2 Rafael Nadal.

Heather Watson opened her Australian Open account with an impressive 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) win over Czech star, Krystyna Pliskova.

This was the second time that Watson and Pliskova had met at this stage in the tournament in back-to-back years with the 28-year-old Brit winning on both occasions.

After a tight first set, which saw Watson make the breakthrough in a tie-break, the British No.2 showed grit and determination to come back from 3-0 down early in the second set. After drawing level and pushing Pliskova to a second tie-break, Watson successfully managed to book her place in the next round.

“I’m really pleased with how I played the tie-breaks. I thought I stepped up my game when I needed to and played some of my best tennis in the big moments” said Watson.

Watson’s attention will now shift to the second round, where she will face 21st seed Anett Kontaveit.

After winning the opening set, British No.1 Johanna Konta was forced to retire from her first round match against Slovenia's Kaja Juven with an injury to her lower abdomen.

Konta had claimed the first set 6-4 after showing promising signs early on in the match, breaking her opponent twice on her way to a 1-0 lead.

However, there were early signs that the Brit was in some discomfort as she called for the trainer late in the opening set. Konta was able to finish the set to take the lead but her injury only seemed to get worse from there, especially on her serve. At 2-0 down in the second set, the Brit was sadly forced to call an end to her Australian Open campaign.

Despite a gutsy performance, Britain’s Fran Jones bowed out of her maiden Grand Slam in a 6-4, 6-1 loss to World No.57, Shelby Rogers.

In the first set, Jones went toe-to-toe with Rogers, who sits nearly 200 spots higher than her in the rankings, coming from a break down to level the score at 4-4.

From there, however, the American shifted to another gear and grew in confidence as she went on to win eight out of the last nine games to secure victory.

Day 1: Katie Boulter beaten by former top-10 player in first round

Katie Boulter in action during the 2021 Australian Open

Britain's Katie Boulter saved four match points but was eventually beaten 6-1, 6-4 Daria Kasatkina on the opening day of the Australian Open.

The 24-year-old – making her first Grand Slam appearance since 2019 – came into the Australian event in fine form having beaten rising star Coco Gauff in the Gippsland Trophy last week.

But during a difficult opening encounter against Russia’s Kasatkina – who was in the top 10 in the world in 2018 – the Brit was beaten in straight sets in a match lasting just 71 minutes.

Boulter made a slow start in Melbourne, hitting just two winners and 18 unforced errors in an error-strewn first set as Kasatkina blazed past her in 23 minutes.

After saving a break point in her opening service game of the second set, Boulter was broken in the fourth game and was forced to serve to stay in the match at 5-3.

Time looked to be running out for Boulter as she went 0-40 down on her serve, handing Kasatkina three match points – but the Brit rallied to win the 10-minute game and give herself a glimmer of hope.

But in the end Kasatkina, the World Number 71, did not have to wait long to wrap up the second set, and the match, and cruise into the second round with a straight sets 6-1, 6-4 win.

In action tomorrow are Dan Evans and Cam Norrie who will face one another in an all-British clash, while their compatriots Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and Fran Jones will all get their campaigns under way Down Under tomorrow too. 

 

Britain's Joe Salisbury is one more win from another Australian Open crown after reaching the men's doubles final at the expense of Jamie Murray.

Salisbury and American partner Rajeev Ram - the defending champions and fifth seeds - won 6-4 7-6 (7-2) against Murray and Brazil's Bruno Soares.

Defeat ended Murray and Soares' winning start in 2021 after reuniting.

Salisbury and Ram play Croatia's Ivan Dodig and Slovakia's Filip Polasek, who are seeded ninth, in Sunday's final.

Murray and Soares won the 2016 title at Melbourne Park and were hoping to match that achievement after rekindling their partnership this season.

The pair, who split after the 2019 French Open, won the warm-up Great Ocean Road Open event in their first tournament back together, but were denied the chance to play for the Grand Slam trophy as Salisbury and Ram ended their eight-match winning streak.

Later on Friday, 28-year-old Salisbury also has the chance to reach the mixed doubles final. Salisbury and American partner Desirae Krawczyk play Australian wildcards Sam Stosur and Matt Ebden in the last four.