Day 1 Qualifying Recap
Ashley Marshall | January 14, 2020
On the eve of what will be the three-year anniversary of Shelby Rogers’ shock upset over Simona Halep in the first round of the 2017 Australian Open, the South Carolina native showed glimpses of her pre-injury brilliance in a scintillating first-round qualifying win in Melbourne.
Close in proximity to Rod Laver Arena, where Rogers upset the future two-time Grand Slam women’s singles champion, the American 27-year-old beat Mona Barthel of Germany, 6-4, 6-0, on Court 14 on Day 1 of the 2020 qualifying tournament.
In reality, the location was really one of just a few similarities to that memorable 2017 performance: far fewer fans, considerably less media attention and barely a murmur of expectations of the great things to come.
That said, the performance was similar, even if it was against a fellow player looking to find her own way back from injury. ADVERTISEMENT While Barthel is not cut from the same cloth as Halep, she is still a former world No. 23 who made the fourth round in Melbourne in 2017, famously beating current world No. 1 Ash Barty just two days after Barty had defeated Rogers.
On Tuesday morning at Melbourne Park, Rogers, back up to No. 155 in the world after undergoing knee surgery in March 2018 and spending a year off the court, dropped just four points on her first serve and needed only 64 minutes to see off Barthel.
As she did in her win over Halep here three years ago, Rogers broke serve four times while saving the only break point she faced. She’ll have another tough test in Round 2 against No. 8 seed Aliona Bolsova, the world No. 113 who reached the fourth round of the French Open last year and narrowly missed out on direct acceptance into the main draw.
Rogers (pictured above) was one of seven Americans to advance to the second round of qualifying.
No. 14 seed Francesca Di Lorenzo defeated Julia Grabher of Austria, 6-3, 6-2; No. 15 seed Nicole Gibbs beat Cristina Bucsa of Spain, 6-0, 2-6, 7-5; No. 30 seed Caroline Dolehide topped Mariam Bolkvadze of Georgia, 6-3, 6-2; and No. 31 seed Ann Li beat Mayar Sherif of Egypt, 6-3, 7-5.
No. 7 men’s seed Denia Kudla earned a hard-fought win over hometown favorite Bernard Tomic, 7-6, 6-3, inside 1573 Arena, while Hailey Baptiste dropped just five games in a 6-1, 6-4 win over Kyoka Okamura of Japan.
No. 26 seed and former junior world No. 1 Whitney Osuigwe fell to Martina Di Giuseppe of Italy, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1; Donald Young lost to Jason Jung of Chinese Taipei, 6-4, 6-7, 6-1; and Max Cressy lost to veteran Latvian Ernests Gulbis, 6-3, 6-3.
Sixteen Americans will be in action Wednesday, including three all-American matchups. Thai-Son Kwiatkowski plays Chris Eubanks, Ernesto Escobedo faces Mitchell Krueger, and No. 10 seed Caty McNally meets Asia Muhammad.