Pro Media & News

Isner, Keys advance at

Australian Open

Ashley Marshall  |  January 21, 2020

Day 2 of the 2020 Australian Open saw plenty of things we’ve seen before… and a few things we haven’t.


First, the things we are getting accustomed to seeing: There was a trademark tiebreak-filled win for top-seeded American John Isner, a straight-forward victory for Madison Keys and wins for 2018 quarterfinalist Tennys Sandgren and 2019 semifinalist Danielle Collins.


And then there were things that we haven’t seen before, but probably should get used to witnessing, like young Americans Michael Mmoh and Tommy Paul winning their first Grand Slam main-draw matches and CiCi Bellis earning her first major victory in more than two years since undergoing a series of arm surgeries.


Overall, Americans went 10-9 on Day 2 of the Australian Open, making them a combined 16-16 in first-round play so far, with Taylor Townsend and Jessica Pegula set to face each other tomorrow.



That will mean 17 Americans into the second round, which is tied for the second-most of the past two decades with 2002 and 2004. Only once since 2000 have more Americans been in Round 2, and that was in 2017, when 11 women and nine men won their opening-round matches.


Just once in the past 20 years have there been more U.S. women in the Round of 64 at Melbourne—in 2015, when 12 advanced.


On the men’s side Tuesday, No. 19 seed Isner (pictured above) needed almost three-and-a-half hours, and four tiebreaks, to beat Thiago Monteiro of Brazil, 6-7, 7-6, 7-6, 7-6, in a match in which neither player dropped serve and Isner hit 46 aces.


Isner, who announced he will donate $100 per ace and a quarter of his total winnings to the Australian bushfire relief efforts, will play qualifier Alejandro Tabilo of Chile in the second round and could meet No. 15 seed and former champion Stan Wawrinka in Round 3.


Paul beat Leonardo Mayer of Argentina, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, and Mmoh beat Pablo Andujar of Spain, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4, inside two hours on Court 10.


It was 22-year-old Paul’s first career Grand Slam main-draw win after appearing at the US Open (in 2015 and 2017) and the French Open (in 2019). Former French Open boys’ champion Paul, who fell in the second round of qualifying in his only two previous trips to Melbourne Park, will face No. 18 seed Grigor Dimitrov in Round 2.


Mmoh, meanwhile, had lost in the first round of his five previous major main-draw matches, most recently at the 2019 Australian Open, when he fell in four sets to Radu Albot of Moldova. But he made amends with a fine victory over Andujar in a match that saw him convert seven of 13 break points, win almost 80 percent of points on his first serve and record more winners (30) than errors (28). Mmoh will play No. 9 seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the second round.


In other men’s matches, No. 29 seed Taylor Fritz defeated Dutch qualifier Tallon Griekspoor, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3, and 2018 Aussie Open quarterfinalist Sandgren topped Argentine qualifier Marco Trungelliti, 6-1, 6-4, 7-5.


Fritz will play unseeded two-time Slam finalist Kevin Anderson in a tough second-round match, while Sandgren will face No. 8 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy.


On the women’s side, No. 10 seed Madison Keys needed just 57 minutes to see off Daria Kasatkina of Russia, 6-3, 6-1, inside Melbourne Arena; No. 18 seed Alison Riske beat Yafan Wang of China, 7-6, 2-6, 6-3; and No. 26 seed Collins outlasted Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.


Keys, a 2015 semifinalist in Melbourne, faces Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands in the second round and could play No. 22 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece in the Round of 32. Riske will play world No. 71 Lin Zhu of China, and Collins will square off against Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan for a place in the third round, where No. 4 seed Simona Halep may await.


Lauren Davis scored an impressive win over qualifier and fast-rising Canadian teen Leyleh Fernandez, 6-4, 6-2, and Bellis topped Tatjana Maria of Germany, 6-0, 6-2, in just 52 minutes.


It was Bellis’ first Grand Slam match in two years and her first win at a major since a run to the third round of the 2017 French Open. Still just 20 years old, Bellis, who won her first match at the Australian Open on Tuesday, has missed much of the past two years with arm injuries, including four surgeries on her wrist and elbow.


Bellis plays No. 20 seed Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic in Round 2, while Davis, who has been to the third round of the Australian Open three times before, will play No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina.


Elsewhere on Day 2, Frances Tiafoe fell to No. 4 seed and 2019 US Open finalist Daniil Medvedev of Russia, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2; Reilly Opelka lost a two-day battle with 12th-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy, 3-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6; and former Georgia Tech standout Chris Eubanks lost a battle between two qualifiers, falling to Peter Gojowczyk of Germany, 7-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.


No. 21 seed Amanda Anisimova lost to Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3; Jennifer Brady fell to Halep, 7-6, 6-1; Bernarda Pera lost to No. 29 seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan, 6-3, 6-2; and qualifier Shelby Rogers lost to Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain, 0-6, 6-1, 6-0.


Madison Brengle lost to Caroline Garcia of France, 6-7, 6-2, 6-2, and Coco Vandeweghe, who earned a wild card into the main draw, lost to Laura Siegemund of Germany, 6-1, 6-4.


Day 3 in Melbourne sees 13 Americans in singles action, headlined by Serena Williams against Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia, Coco Gauff against Sorana Cirstea of Romania and Pennsylvania qualifier Ann Li against fellow American and No. 14 seed Sofia Kenin. Doubles action also gets underway, with the Bryan brothers in first-round action against Rohan Bopanna of India and Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan in what is the brothers’ final Australian Open.


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