Australian Open 2017, Day 1 Highlights: Venus' seal of approval, Wawrinka's apology and more

Here's a look at some of the stories that you may have missed on Day 1 from the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

Seal of approval

Serena Williams and her sister Venus pose with Australia Open ballkids in Melbourne. AFP

Serena Williams and her sister Venus pose with Australia Open ballkids in Melbourne. AFP

Venus Williams has given her seal of approval to younger sister Serena's fiancee, calling Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian a "super nice guy". "He's a super nice guy," Venus, 36, said of Ohanian. "You never know how the things are going to end. In this case, it's not gonna end, so it's great." Venus added that she was overjoyed for her "wise" sister. "She's much smarter than I am. She's a wise woman. She's actually getting a real life. She's paving the way, once again, for me. Maybe I'll grow up. " she said in Melbourne on Monday at the Australian Open.


All-rounder Ashleigh Barty made a stunning return to her home Grand Slam after quitting to play cricket in 2014. The Australian's career change was a hit and she appeared for Brisbane Heat in last year’s inaugural Women’s Big Bash League. Granted a wildcard at the Australian Open, she defeated German Annika Beck -- who made the fourth round last year -- 6-4, 7-5. "It's so good to be back out here," said Barty, a former Grand Slam doubles finalist.

You've got the Slams, I've got the looks

Jamie Murray was delighted to lord it over Andy after he was described as "much better looking" than his younger brother. While Jamie has a successful doubles career, Andy has three Grand Slam singles titles, two Olympic gold medals and is the world number one -- as well as being made a knight in Britain's New Year Honours. All of which must have made the following exchange, tweeted by Jamie, all the sweeter. "Uber driver 'hey, you look like @andy_murray.' Me - "yeh I get that a lot" Uber Driver - "you're much better looking mind you." Cheers Mate!"

Twitter-free zone

Bernard Tomic said he had no plans to set up a Twitter account, despite other players' liking for the microblogging service. "I'm just not that sort of guy," Tomic said, according to The Age. "I'm very, very bad with the phone and I have no focus level to stay on it for more than three seconds." Australia's Tomic beat Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci in straight sets to reach the second round, but not before some negative chatter about his dress sense. "Many like to push the boundaries with bright and clashing colours in the first major tournament of the season, and our own Bernard Tomic has done just that," commented The Age, with a picture of the player in a clashing ensemble during training. "Well, Bernie, um..."

Wawrinka's close shave

Stan Wawrinka apologised for slamming a ball at Martin Klizan after he survived a tense five-setter to reach the Australian Open second round on Monday. The three-time Grand Slam champion, fought back from a break down in the final set to overhaul the 35th-ranked Slovak 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 in 3hr 24min on Margaret Court Arena. There was a dramatic moment in the final set when Wawrinka fired a volley at a defenceless Klizan, who had conceded the point after a rally and was standing at the net. The Swiss fourth seed quickly jumped over the net to offer his apologies as Klizan sunk to his haunches in pain.

"That was, for sure, a tough shot for him. The thing is there are some players they fake you, and you stop playing and then they just put up the racquet," Wawrinka said. "So for me I already miss some easy ones. For me the most important thing was to run straight over to him. I just wanted to make sure he was okay. I realized he was okay. I'm sorry I touch him in the wrong place. But I think it was okay at the end."

Attendance on Day 1:

Day: 47,867; Night: 24,557. Total: 72,424.

Stat of the Day

16: the age of Australia's Destanee Aiava, who became the first player born in the 2000 millenium to play in a Grand Slam tournament.

(With inputs from agencies)

Published Date: Jan 17, 2017 09:57 AM | Updated Date: Jan 17, 2017 10:39 AM

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