Second set: Elina Svitolina 6-4 5-2* Katie Boulter: Svitolina captures her fourth and fifth consecutive games to move to within a game of victory. The fifth seed is so solid and refusing to give up any free points now, while Boulter is just beginning to be a little too erratic. Boulter closed off her service game with two consecutive backhand unforced errors, then Svitolina strolled to another easy hold.
Second set: Elina Svitolina 6-4 3-2* Katie Boulter: Boulter hit extremely well to eke out a tight deuce hold to consolidate her break for a 2-0 lead, but she is just a little too overzealous on the ball right now.
At *2-1 30-30, she sprayed a wild forehand wide and then moved forward to the net on a dire approach, allowing Svitolina to pick her off with an easy passing shot and break her back. Svitolina had no trouble holding with ease to edge ahead again.
Boulter clearly understands that she has to be aggressive but it has to be done with slightly more guile.
Garbine Muguruza defeats Shelby Rodgers 0-6 6-1 6-0.
What a score! Muguruza withdrew from her last match before the Australian Open with a viral illness and during the first set it was all too easy to assume that she was feeling the effects in the first set. Evidently not.
Regardless of how she got there, an essential win for Muguruza as she tries to rebuild her career. Muguruza is currently ranked 32nd and she is unseeded in Melbourne after another torrid season which finally forced her to split with her former coach Sam Sumyk. She has arrived in Australia with her new coach Conchita Martinez and we will see if the former number one and two-time slam champion can work her way back to the top.
Second set: Elina Svitolina 6-4 0-1* Katie Boulter: Some brutal hitting from Boulter to open the second set and she immediately breaks. She sealed her first break of Svitolina’s serve with a flat, searing forehand winner. Game on.
Elina Svitolina 6-4 Katie Boulter: As she often does, Elina Svitolina pounced in the final game of the first set, nabbing the break and set with a big forehand winner. A good showing from Boulter so far. We’ll see how long she can hang with the fifth seed in set two.
It is particularly great to see Katie Boulter back after the terrible 9 months she has had. Last April, Boulter performed admirably as she helped Great Britain defeat Kazakstan in a dramatic Fed Cup tie. But her commitment came at a cost as Boulter was competing with an injured back that she aggravated during the tie, forcing her out until she returned to some lowly ITF challenger events in November.
Her ranking fell as low as 351 after she sat around her career high of 82 in April. That was unfortunate enough, but a few months later she was also subjected to some intense criticism at the French Open. Despite the severity of her injury, she entered the French Open draw and didn’t withdraw until after the qualifying draw had begun. By withdrawing late, she was entitled to 50% of the first round prize money. In hindsight, thank heavens she did since she didn’t have any playing income for 7 months after that.
Svitolina leads 5-4 on serve.
A few things are happening right now:
Britain’s Katie Boulter is facing off against fifth seed Elina Svitolina and she is currently performing well, with the match on serve at 4-3 to Svitolina in the 1573 Arena.
Jo Wilfried Tsonga just took the first set 7-6(5) against young Australian Alexei Popyrin in the Melbourne Arena.
Garbine Muguruza is en route to a completely bizarre win over qualifier Shelby Rodgers. The score is now 0-6 6-1 4-0.
17th seed Andrey Rublev, one of the most talented and in-form young players around, is just starting against Australian wildcard Christopher O’Connell.
It has not been a great day for British interests. Here is Kevin Mitchell on the defeats of Kyle Edmund and Johanna Konta, both of whom came up against tough first round opposition in Dusan Lajovic and Ons Jabeur.
Hello! Welcome to our night session coverage of day 2 of the Australian Open. And what a day this is. Rain washing out most of the matches on outside courts yesterday meant that we started the day with 96 matches on the schedule. Some courts have seven matches scheduled for the day. At the time of writing, 6pm Melbourne time, 46 matches have been played and there are still 50 to be played. Last year the Australian Open had matches finishing at 3am so we are in for an extremely late finish.
Daniil Medvedev will open the night session on Rod Laver Arena against Frances Tiafoe, who went viral in Melbourne last year as he marched to the quarters and did his best Lebron James impression to celebrate each win. A year later, he returns with a horrible draw and the knowledge that his ranking will tank should he lose today. In the women’s night match, 18 year-old Italian Elisabetta Cocciaretto will face off against 2016 champion Angelique Kerber, who returns to the scene of her first slam in a slump and after some injury problems. Could a new star be born on Rod Laver Arena today?
Over on Margaret Court Arena, Wimbledon champion Simona Halep will take to the court against Jennifer Brady, a young American with a big game who has started the season well and could provide a challenge for Halep. Alexander Zverev will follow the Romanian against clay court specialist Marco Cecchinato. Not too many people are picking Zverev after his horrendous start to the year at the ATP Cup, in which he served countless double faults and reduced his father to tears with his verbal abuse. However, this is a nice opening round to get his tournament started and perhaps find some rhythm.
Finally, Nick Kyrgios will headline his own one-match night session on the Melbourne Arena where he will face Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego. These are just the top courts and there will be a million other things going on today and we will be following it all.