Saturday, May 28

Australian Open midterm qualifiers: Ashleigh Barty dominates, ESPN TV coverage falters

We are in week one of the first major of the year. The defending men’s champion is out, removed from the draw (and the country) by Australia’s Immigration Minister. The defending women’s champion is out, knocked out by a reborn 20-year-old American. Rafa Nadal is 12 sets away from becoming the all-time major singles winner. Ash Barty is eight sets away from becoming the first Australian since the 1970s to win the singles title. We’ve got a serve-and-volley dervish, an American male standout, a resurgent Simona Halep and a second-seeded who may lead the field in double faults but still win. Tennis goes to tennis.

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