Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are all in action in the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday, with Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff also scheduled to be on court.
After thrashing Anastasia Potapova 6-0 6-3 in just 58 minutes in the first round, Williams faces Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek in the first game of the night session at the Rod Laver Arena at 7 p.m. local time on Wednesday (3 a.m. ET).
The 38-year-old, who is chasing an eighth title in Melbourne, had barely broke sweat against Potapova and admitted air quality remained her biggest concern.
Air in Melbourne and Sydney had been severely impacted by the bushfires which have ravaged Australia since September, destroying over 10.3 million hectares of land.
Heavy rain at the beginning of the tournament delivered some much-needed respite to firefighters and significantly improved air quality.
“That is still a concern for pretty much everyone,” Williams told reporters on Monday.
“Every day all the players and the tournament make sure that all the players are updated on what the play conditions would be like,” said the American.
“It’s literally every day, we are just waiting every day to see how the air quality would be. Today, it seemed normal. Yeah, it seemed pretty good.”
Like Williams, Djokovic is also chasing an eighth Australian Open crown and like Williams he is the bookmakers’ favorite.
The defending champion dropped a set in his opening game, defeating Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 to book a spot in the second round against Japan’s wild card Tatsuma Ito.
Federer, meanwhile, thrashed the U.S. Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in the first round and will face Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic on Wednesday.
“I am very happy. It is nice to be back here in Australia. I felt really good, so it was a really good first round for me,” the 20-time Grand Slam winner said in his post-match press conference.
“I trained really hard [between seasons], needed some vacation. I am just so happy I didn’t have any setbacks. That sets you up nicely for the season.”
Elsewhere, 15-year-old Coco Gauff faces Sorana Cirstea of Romania after beating Venus Williams in straight sets, while world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty takes on
Slovenia’s Polona Hercog and defending champion Naomi Osaka faces China’s Saisai Zheng.
Here’s everything you need to know to keep up with the second-round action.
Second round start time
The second round of the first round of the Australian Open gets underway at 11 a.m. local time on Wednesday morning.
However, because of the 16-hour difference between Melbourne and the east coast of the U.S., that means matches get underway at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday evening.
World No. 8 and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic gets proceedings underway at the Rod Laver Arena when she takes on Spain’s Paula Badosa at 11 a.m. local time, with a total of 13 singles matches scheduled across the various courts.
The Australian Open is broadcast exclusively across ESPN channels, with ESPN2 carrying the bulk of the tournament. Coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday and runs until 7 a.m. on Wednesday.
A replay will be available on ESPN2 between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
Fans can watch the action online via the WatchESPN app and on ESPN.com.
Second round full schedule
World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty takes on Slovenia’s Polona Hercog in the day’s second match at the Rod Laver Arena, before Novak Djokovic faces Japan’s wild card Tatsuma Ito.
Defending champion Naomi Osaka kicks off proceedings at the Margaret Court Arena against China’s Saisai Zheng, the world No. 42.
Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki plays No. 23 seed Dayana Yastremska, while No. 13 seed Petra Martic faces Germany’s Julia Goerges, the world No. 39.
Coco Gauff is due on court at the Melbourne Arena at around 1 p.m. local time when she takes on Sorana Cirstea of Romania, while Serena Williams opens the evening session at the Rod Laver Arena when she faces Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek.
The match will be followed by Roger Federer’s encounter against Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic, the world No. 41.
Aside from Williams and Gauff, there are another 11 Americans in action in the second round, including Madison Keys, Alison Riske and Sam Querrey.
According to Oddschecker, Novak Djokovic is a 6/5 favorite to defend his title, followed by Rafael Nadal at 11/2 and Daniil Medvedev at 8/1 and Roger Federer 9/1.
Among the women, Serena Williams is a 7/2 favorite, followed by Naomi Osaka at 15/2 and Ashleigh Barty at 8/1.