MELBOURNE, Australia — Day 1 of the Australian Open is in the books. Aside from No. 6 seed Petra Kvitova’s loss, it was business as usual for the top players, led by Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic, who cruised in straight sets.
Two veteran fan favorites, Venus Williams and Kimiko Date-Krumm, went down swinging in three-set battles, while two volatile entertainers, Ernests Gulbis and Jerzy Janowicz, had to fight themselves and their game opponents to advance to the second round. The action, combined with some hot but manageable temperatures, made for the perfect way to ease into the first Grand Slam tournament of the year.
Here are some of our favorite photos from Day 1:
Serena Williams: The five-time champion rolled past 17-year-old Ashleigh Barty 6-2, 6-1. (William West/AFP/Getty Images)
Kimiko Date-Krumm: The 43-year-old was unable to replicate last year’s third-round run. She lost to 16-year-old Belinda Bencic 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. (William West/AFP/Getty Images)
Stanislas Wawrinka: The Swiss led 6-4, 4-1 when Andrey Golubev retired from a leg injury. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
David Ferrer: The ATP No. 3 defeated Alejandro González 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. (Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images)
Venus Williams: The 33-year-old couldn’t protect a 3-0 third-set lead in a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 loss to No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova. (Matt King/Getty Images)
Ekaterina Makarova: The Russian beat Serena in 2012 and now older sister Venus. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Li Na: The two-time finalist beat one 16-year-old, Ana Konjuh, to set up a second-round match with another, Bencic. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)
Jerzy Janowicz: The No. 20 seed rallied to defeat No. 319 Jordan Thompson of Australia 1-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1. (Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Madison Keys: The 19-year-old American, who outlasted Patricia Mayr-Achleitner 6-2, 6-7 (8), 9-7, is into the second round for the fourth time in her last five majors. (William West/AFP/Getty Images)
Klara Zakopalova: The 31-year-old from the Czech Republic lost to No. 17 Sam Stosur 6-3, 6-4.