Australian Open: A lookahead to Thursday, recap of Wednesday

Romania's Simona Halep reacts after defeating Australia's Destanee Aiava during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) A quick glance at the Australian Open:

LOOKAHEAD TO THURSDAY

Melbourne is expected to turn up the heat on Thursday, with temperatures forecast to reach 39 Celsius – 102 degrees Fahrenheit. The weather might have cooled off before the opening night match on Margaret Court Arena between top-seeded Simona Halep of Romania and former No. 5 Eugenie Bouchard. The Canadian has fallen on hard times recently, with her ranking dropping to 112. The two haven’t played since 2014, when Bouchard’s only victory in three matches against Halep that year came in the semifinals at Wimbledon. Bouchard was playing the best tennis of her career that year, reaching semifinals at the Australian Open and French Open, and losing the Wimbledon final to Petra Kvitova.

Times have changed, and Bouchard likes her underdog status against Halep. ”It’s always really cool to go up against the best in the world. You use it as a measuring stick to see how far off you are. I want to try to play my game and go out there and do some damage … it’s fun to have no pressure.”

Gael Monfils will know what it’s like to be an underdog in his match Thursday against six-time champion Novak Djokovic – the Frenchman has lost all 14 matches against the former No. 1. The only thing going for Monfils is that Djokovic has never beaten him at the Australian Open – because they’ve never played here.

Defending champion Roger Federer has only played his second-round opponent once. The 19-time Grand Slam singles champion beat Jan-Lennard Struff in straight sets on grass at Halle in 2016.

Other matches of note: Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza plays Hsieh Su-wei, 2016 Australian champion Angelique Kerber, on a 10-match winning streak, takes on Donna Vekic, and Maria Sharapova plays 14th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova.

THURSDAY FORECAST

Sunny, high of 39 Celsius (102 Fahrenheit)

WEDNESDAY’S WEATHER

Sunny, high of 30 C (86 F)

ATTENDANCE

Day: 48,631; Night: 23,185; TOTAL: 71,816.

WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS

Men’s Second Round: No. 1 Rafael Nadal beat Leonardo Mayer 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (4); No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov beat Mackenzie McDonald 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 0-6, 8-6; No. 6 Marin Cilic beat Joao Sousa 6-1, 7-5, 6-2; No. 10 Paglo Carreno Busta beat Gilles Simon 6-2, 3-0 retired; No. 15 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Denis Shapovalov 3-6, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5; No. 17 Nick Kyrgios beat Viktor Troicki 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (2); No. 23 Gilles Muller beat Malek Jaziri 7-5, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 3-6, 6-2; No. 24 Diego Schwartzman beat Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-2, 6-3; No. 28 Damir Dzumhur beat John Millman 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1; Ryan Harrison beat No. 31 Pablo Cuevas 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-4

Women’s Second Round: No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki beat Jana Fett 3-6, 6-2, 7-5; No. 4 Elina Svitolina beat Katerina Siniakova 4-6, 6-2, 6-1; No. 7 Jelena Ostapenko beat Duan Yingying 6-3, 3-6, 6-4; Alize Cornet beat No. 12 Julia Goerges 6-4, 6-3; Kateryna Bondarenko beat No. 15 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3; No. 19 Magdalena Rybarikova beat Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 0-6, 6-2; Magda Linette beat No. 22 Daria Kasatkina 7-6 (4), 6-2; No. 30 Kiki Bertens beat Nicole Gibbs 7-6 (3), 6-0; No. 32 Anett Kontaveit beat Mona Barthel 6-3, 4-6, 6-3; Marta Kostyuk beat Olivia Rogowska 6-3, 7-5; Luksika Kumkhum beat Belinda Bencic 6-1, 6-3.

STAT OF THE DAY

15: age of Ukrainian qualifier Marta Kostyuk, who is youngest player to reach the third round at the Australian Open since Martina Hingis made the quarterfinals at 15 in 1996.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

”Maybe I will get presents for my family … and then for myself a bit.” – Kostyuk on what she will do with the more than $140,000 she has already earned at Melbourne Park in the past week.

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