Auger-Aliassime bows out early in Adelaide, Venus begins her 30th season with a win and Townsend and Muhammad claim their second team title

Felix Auger-Aliassime, who was the second seed at Adelaide International 1, fell to Australian qualifier Alexei Popyrin 4-6, 6-7 in the first round. A few days after the defeat the 22-year-old Canadian was on Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne hitting with defending champion Rafael Nadal.

Mikael Ymer also fell in the first-round in Adelaide after a 4-6, 2-6 defeat to Russian Roman Safiullin. Big brother Elias came through qualifying at the Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune, India but lost in round one to German Maximilian Marterer 2-6, 6-3, 3-6.

Also in Pune, Michael Mmoh reached the second round but was unable to get past sixth seed Filip Krajinovic, going down 6-2, 3-6, 4-6. Mmoh now heads to Melbourne for AO qualifying. Fellow American Christopher Eubanks was scheduled to play qualifying at the Tata Open but withdrew after experiencing breathing difficulties on court. See his Twitter feed for more on that and his travel mishaps.

Venus Williams reached the second round at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand but fell in round two to China’s Zhu Lin in three tight sets. The 42-year-old, in her 30th season on the WTA Tour, was given an Australian Open wildcard but has since withdrawn after picking up an injury. Wishing her a speedy recovery.

Sloane Stephens was the second seed in Auckland but was unable to get past eventual finalist Rebeka Masarova in the first round. For the first time since 2018, Stephens was not wearing Nike apparel. Telfar, go get your girl!

In Adelaide, after a promising start, Jasmine Paolini lost in the first round of qualifying to Hungary’s Anna Bondar 3-6, 6-7, 6-7.

Staying in Adelaide Taylor Townsend and Asia Muhammad won their second doubles title as a team in impressive fashion.

Champions Taylor Townsend (left) and Asia Muhammad pose with the Adelaide doubles trophy Photo credit: Sarah Reed [Getty]

The sixth-seeded Americans received a first-round bye before securing good wins against Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic in round two, fourth seeds Ena Shibahara and Shuko Aoyama in the last eight and Jelena Ostapenko and Lyudmyla Kichenok in the semi-finals. The duo beat top seeds Storm Hunter and Katerina Siniakova in the championship match.

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