Hello and welcome to coverage of the opening night at the Australian Open.
After a busy day of action, the evening session features two Grand Slam champions in action back-to-back. First up is second seed Simona Halep, who is taking on Aussie Lizette Cabrera.
Halep is among the sizeable group of contenders for the women’s title over the fortnight but struggled with an injury last week in a 6-2 6-1 loss to Ekaterina Alexandrova.
But the Romanian, runner-up in 2018, remains a capable player on hard courts with her speed, shot placement and anticipation.
“I have the results in my head every time I come here. I always think if I did it once, or twice, I have the possibility to do it again,” the 29-year-old said.
“But I don’t want to think that much because I put pressure on myself and I expect maybe too much sometimes. I will take as a normal tournament, an important one, of course.
“I think I’ve been very focused on my job, because I call it a job. It is a job in my head. I get pleasure from it, but it’s a job.
“In the last five, seven years, I can say in a part that it is a job, but also I have the passion that keeps me alive in this sport.
“It’s a big challenge the first round everywhere … I will train a little bit what I have to do against her. I am centred. I’m focused on what I have to do, but I’m not thinking that much about the chances that I have here.”
It is a big night for Cabrera, who is making the fourth Australian Open appearance of her career. The 23-year-old is ranked 140 in the world and is yet to get past the first round of a Grand Slam event.