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Monfils rallies from two sets down to advance past fellow Frenchman

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By Olivia Schneider

Tennis followers are ready for the second round of the Australian Open following the usual series of first round upsets and comebacks.

The first round matchup of Gael Monfils against French wildcard Lucas Pouille was the talk of Twitter Monday night as Pouille made a powerful effort to quickly gain the first set off 17th seed Monfils in a tiebreak (7-6). Not only did Monfils struggle to maintain his rhythm, but he also appeared to struggle to an injury and Pouille took advantage, gaining the second set 6-3.

A sudden jolt of energy and support from the crowd sent Monfils into full action during the third set, taking advantage of two costly mistakes from Pouille—a missed volley and letting a shot by Monfils drop in—ultimately taking the last three sets 6-4 6-1 6-4. The comeback was just the second time in his career the 28-year-old came back from two sets down.

As for the women’s draw, 20-year-old Serbian Aleksandra Krunic upset then ranked 3rd seed Petra Kvitova, 27th seed Madison Keys and put up a fight against then 16th seed Victoria Azarenka during last year’s US Open, fell to the United States’ Lauren Davis, the 53rd seed in the first round Tuesday.

Since appearing in the US Open last year, Krunic has jumped from 145 to 77 in WTA ranking.

Davis will play fellow American Venus Williams, ranked 18th, in her second round matchup.

Fellow American and world No. 1 Serena Williams faced a small hiccup in her second set versus Belgian Alison van Uytvanck, but easily advances to the second round with a 6-0 6-4 win in 61 minutes.

No. 8 Caroline Wozniacki rallied past American Taylor Townsend 7-6 6-2 to advance to the second round where she will face No. 41 Azarenka.

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