The Latest: Americans pick up 2nd victory at Australian Open

BY AP • January 15, 2018

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) The Latest on Tuesday at the Australian Open (all times local):

1:55 p.m.

After going 1 for 9 in first-round matches on the opening day of the Australian Open, the American women picked up a second victory early on Day 2.

Lucky loser Bernarda Pera, a Croatian-born American who lives in New Jersey, beat Anna Blinkova of Russia 6-2, 6-2 for her first win at a Grand Slam.

Pera lost in the final round of qualifying and only got into the tournament on Monday when Margarita Gasparyan withdrew with a shoulder injury.

The 23-year-old Pera on her biggest paycheck at a Challenger-level title last July in the Czech Republic and later that night was hospitalized after having a bad reaction to the pasta dish she ate for dinner. Pera is allergic to chicken, seafood and turkey, among other foods.

''I couldn't feel my legs, I couldn't feel my hands. I couldn't move,'' she said. ''It was really bad.''

Pera carries an EpiPen emergency allergy injector with her at all times, just to be safe.

She next plays ninth-seeded Johanna Konta of Britain, a winner over another American on Tuesday, Madison Brengle.

Pera has only seen Konta play on television, so she's a little unsure what to expect.

''I have to watch some YouTube videos,'' she said.

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1:45 p.m.

Former champion Angelique Kerber has won her 10th match in a row to start the season, beating fellow German Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-0, 6-4 in the first round at Melbourne Park.

Kerber, who won the 2016 Australian Open, won four singles matches at the Hopman Cup, then followed that up with five wins en route to the Sydney International title last week.

She needed four break points in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead, then held service in the next game after Friedsam had saved one match point.

Kerber will celebrate her 30th birthday on Thursday with a second-round match against either Nao Habino or Donna Vekic.

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12:45 p.m.

Former No. 1-ranked Karolina Pliskova has advanced to the second round at the Australian Open, beating Veronica Cepede Royg 6-3, 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena.

Pliskova, who held the top ranking in July of last year, is among six players who could return to No. 1 depending on results at the season-opening major.

She played the Brisbane International two weeks ago with her new coach, Thomas Krupa. The defending champion lost to eventual winner Elina Svitolina in the semifinals.

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12:20 p.m.

Johanna Konta has continued her strong recent form at Melbourne Park, easily winning her first-round match and eliminating another American player.

Konta beat Madison Brengle 6-3, 6-1, the 10th loss in 11 first-round matches for American women. On Monday, the nine U.S. women eliminated included 2017 finalist Venus Williams and U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens.

The Australian-born Konta, who won on her fourth match point Tuesday, has had two good years at the Australian Open, losing to the eventual champion each time. She was defeated by Angelique Kerber in the semifinals in 2016 and lost to Serena Williams in the quarterfinals last year.

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11:15 a.m.

Defending champion Roger Federer continues his quest for a 20th Grand Slam singles title and top-seeded Simona Halep starts another bid for her first when both see action on Day Two at the Australian Open.

Fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova begins play on Rod Laver Arena in a match Tuesday against Veronica Cepede Royg, with Halep following two matches later against Destanee Aiava.

Federer is set to open the night program at Rod Laver in a match against Aljaz Bedene.

Also set to play their first-round matches are six-time champion Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, who is playing at Melbourne Park for the first time since testing positive for the banned drug meldonium here, and the Canadian pair of Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard.

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More AP coverage: www.apnews.com/tag/AustralianOpen


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