MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A quick look at the Australian Open:
LOOKAHEAD TO TUESDAY
Rafael Nadal starts his bid for a men’s record 21st major singles title with a first-round match against Laslo Djere on Rod Laver Arena. The No. 2-ranked Nadal equaled Roger Federer’s mark of 20 by winning the French Open title last October, his 13th at Roland Garros. He has been experiencing stiffness in his back that kept him on the sidelines for Spain’s ATP Cup campaign last week and restricted his movement in practice. Fresh off his ATP Cup final win with Russia, No. 4-ranked Daniil Medvedev takes a 14-match winning streak into the first-round against Vasek Pospisil. Sofia Kenin will start a Grand Slam title defense for the first time when she gets play started on the main show court at Melbourne Park against Maddison Inglis of Australia. Kenin won the Australian title last year and reached the final of the French Open. Other Grand Slam champions in action Tuesday include top-ranked Ash Barty, 2020 Australian Open runner-up Garbine Muguruza and two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka.
17,922 — The number of fans at Melbourne Park across the day. It’s the biggest crowd for any major in a year. No fans were allowed at the U.S. Open because of restrictions for the COVID-19 pandemic and numbers at the French Open were kept to around 1,000. Up to 30,000 people will be allowed into Melbourne Park daily during the Australian Open.
“I think every single person there was probably in awe to be sitting at a sporting event, as much as I was to have them there.” — Venus Williams, on having a sizable number of people back at Melbourne Park.
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