Pavlyuchenkova advances at Australian Open tuneup event

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Japan's Misaki Doi 6-1, 6-4 in a first-round match at the Yarra River Classic, one of six tuneup tournaments this week at Melbourne Park ahead of the Australian Open.

The 11th-seeded Pavlyuchenkova has been a quarterfinalist in three of the last four years at the Australian Open.   -  Getty Images

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Japan's Misaki Doi 6-1, 6-4 in a first-round match at the Yarra River Classic, one of six tuneup tournaments this week at Melbourne Park ahead of the Australian Open.

The first major of the year was delayed by three weeks to allow for COVID-19 protocols which required all people arriving into Australia to spend 14 days in quarantine.

The 11th-seeded Pavlyuchenkova has been a quarterfinalist in three of the last four years at the Australian Open. Serena Williams was scheduled to play local hope, Daria Gavrilova, later on Monday in the Yarra River Classic. Williams is aiming to win her 24th Grand Slam title with victory at the Australian Open, the most of any player in the professional era. Her 23rd major was in 2017 at Melbourne Park when she beat her sister, Venus, in the final.

In other first-round matches at the tournament, Nadia Podoroska beat Francesca Jones 6-1, 6-3, Camila Giorgi beat Clara Burel 6-4, 6-3, Alison Van Uytvanck swept Hsieh Su-Wei 6-2, 6-0 and Vera Zvonareva beat Kristyna Pliskova 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-3.

No. 13 Danielle Collins of the United States beat Nina Stojanovic 6-2, 6-1 in a second-round match.

All but three Australian Open participants clear quarantine  

SIX EVENTS ON BOARD

All six tuneup tournaments are being played this week at Melbourne Park ahead of the Feb. 8 start of the Australian Open. The biggest men's tournament is the ATP Cup team event, which starts on Tuesday. The other men's tournaments are the Great Ocean Road Open and the Murray River Open.

WTA players tuneup for Australian Open after quarantine  

In addition to the Yarra Valley Classic, the WTA has the Gippsland Trophy and the Grampians Trophy. The Grampians event is a 28-draw tournament and is open only to players who were forced into hard lockdown for 14 days without the benefit of practice because of positive COVID-19 cases on their charter flights to Australia.

CORNET ADVANCES

At the WTA's Gippsland Trophy, French veteran Alize Cornet beat local hope Ajla Tomljanovic 5-7, 6-1, 6-3. Cornet got an early break in the deciding set and fended off several comeback attempts by Tomljanovic, who is the No. 2-ranked Australian player behind world No. 1 Ash Barty. In other Gippsland Trophy matches, Mayo Hibi beat Varvara Lepchenko 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-1 and Katie Boulter had a 6-1, 6-3 win over Anna Kalinskaya.

I would quarantine again for Tokyo Olympics, says Osaka  

TIAFOE OUT IN 1ST ROUND

Corentin Moutet of France won a tough first-round match over Frances Tiafoe, beating the American 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 at the Murray River Open. The 21-year-old Moutet had to overcome a sluggish start before he found his rhythm against the 2019 Australian Open quarterfinalist Tiafoe.

The Frenchman outlasted Tiafoe in the third set to fight off breakpoints and take a 3-1 lead. "It was so nice to play a match," Moutet told the ATP website.

"It was a long time since I've played a match, especially in front of people. A tough match, but a lot of pleasure."

GAUFF SCRAPES THROUGH

American Coco Gauff didn’t make it easy on herself in her first-round match at an Australian Open tuneup event on Monday.

She was up a service break in the second set and looked ready for straight-sets win until Jil Teichmann won the second-set tiebreaker. The players then went to a deciding-set tiebreaker before Gauff won 6-3, 6-7 () 7-6 (5) at the WTA’s Gippsland Trophy.

“All the training I did in the off-season meant that I could go three tough sets,“ Gauff said on court after the match.

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