Big Guns Fall In Opening Stages of Australian Open

The opening Grand Slam of 2017 has well and truly got underway at Melbourne Park with the Australian Open and there have already been some notable eliminations in the early stages of the competition already.

Here is a look at which of the big names in the sport have failed to get past the opening week in Melbourne.

Marin Cilic

2015 US Open winner Marin Cilic is the biggest seed to fall so far in the men’s draw of the 2017 Australian Open as he went down 6-3, 5-7, 3-6, 3-6 to Great Britain’s Dan Evans in the second round.

Marin Cilic
Marin Cilic” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by shinya

It’s been a big start to 2017 for Evans as he reached his first ATP final last where he lost to Gilles Muller 6-7 (5-7), 2-6. The victory over the Croatian though is his biggest success of his career so far.

Cilic is a former semi-finalist in the Australian Open and will now have to wait for the French Open later this year for another Grand Slam success where he is 125/1 in the tennis betting for the trophy at Roland Garros.

Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios has a built up a reputation of being the bad boy of men’s tennis over the past couple of years and the Australian once again had a meltdown on course in his five-set defeat to Andreas Seppi where he went down 1-6, 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 6-1, 10-8.

Kyrgios said he went into the tournament with an injury and he appeared to struggle for fitness in the final set where his Italian opponent completed a fantastic comeback after losing the opening two sets of the match.

The Australian is the only player inside the world’s top 100 without a coach. Given he has struggled mentally and physically in the last few Grand Slams, he may look to hire one with the hope of improving his fortunes in 2017.

Lucas Pouille

Lucas Pouille was one of the finds of 2016 as the Frenchman really had a breakthrough year on the ATP Tour where he won his first tournament in the Moselle Open in Metz. He suffered a big surprise defeat in the opening round in Melbourne earlier this week though as he lost to the world number 207 Alexander Bublik.

The 19-year-old qualifier from Kazakhstan played some terrific tennis to get the better of Pouille 6-0, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and wil be hoping for further success to help improve his ranking following the tournament.

Simona Halep

Former world number two Simona Halep is still looking for her maiden Grand Slam title but that wait will have to go on a litter longer as she lost 3-6, 1-6 to Shelby Rogers.

SIMONA HALEP

SIMONA HALEP” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by NAPARAZZI

It took the American just one hour and 15 minutes to complete the win and reach the second round in Australia for the first time in her career. Halep has now gone out in the opening round for second consecutive year as she lost to Japan’s Shuai Zhang as the same stage 12 months ago.

Top seeds Murray and Djokovic Remain On Course For Final

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have met in four of the last six Australian Open finals. The top two players in the world are on course to contest the 2017 final given they have been pitched into separate halves of the draw. Djokovic is a six-time winner of this Grand Slam, while Murray, if he makes the final again, will be looking to lift the trophy for the first time.

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