MELBOURNE, Australia — Shelby Rogers caused the first upset of the Australian Open on Monday, beating fourth-seeded Simona Halep 6-3, 6-1 in the opening match on the center court.
Playing just her second match in the main draw at the season’s first Grand Slam tournament, the No. 52-ranked Rogers broke the 2014 French Open finalist’s serve four times on Rod Laver Arena. It was the second year in a row that Halep lost in the first round at Melbourne Park, and the fourth time overall.
Rogers made a surprising run to the French Open quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Garbine Muguruza last year, when she was ranked No. 108, but only advanced to the second round at one other tournament in 2016. Her only previous win against a top 10 player was in 2014, when she beat then No. 8-ranked Eugenie Bouchard in Montreal.
“There are no easy matches at this level ... so I’m happy to get through and definitely take confidence from what I did today,” Rogers said in her on-court interview.
Seventh-seeded Muguruza saved a set point in the first set and needed a medical timeout before advancing with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Marina Erakovic.
Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig raced through her opening match, beating Patricia Tig 6-0, 6-1. Duan Yingying was among the early winners with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Rebecca Sramkova.
Australian teenager Destanee Aiava’s milestone match ended in a 6-3, 7-6 (4) loss to German qualifier Mona Barthel. The 16-year-old Melbourne high school student became the first player born in this millennium to play a main draw match at a major.
Jeremy Chardy was the first winner on the men’s side, and only played four games. He was leading 4-0 when Nicolas Almagro retired from their match with an injured right calf muscle.