Gippsland Trophy: Katie Boulter wins as Australian Open warm-ups begin

Britain’s Katie Boulter beat Anna Kalinskaya in the first round of the Gippsland Trophy as players began their Australian Open preparations.

Boulter, playing in just her second WTA main draw match since February 2019, beat the Russian 6-1 6-3 in 59 minutes.

The 24-year-old will play world number 48 Coco Gauff next in Melbourne.

American Gauff, who reached the fourth round of the Australian Open in 2020, battled past Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5).

Gauff squandered a 4-2 lead in the second set and a 4-1 advantage in the third before eventually winning in two hours and 47 minutes.

British number one Johanna Konta, who had a first-round bye, will play America’s Bernarda Pera.

US Open champion Naomi Osaka and world number two Simona Halep are also in the main draw.

In the Yarra Valley Classic, Britain’s Francesca Jones lost 6-1 6-3 to French Open semi-finalist Nadia Podoroska of Argentina.

Venus Williams breezed past Arantxa Rus 6-1 6-3 to set up a second-round meeting with two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.

World number one Ashleigh Barty will return to action on Tuesday against Ana Bogdan.

Australia’s Barty, who chose not to travel in 2020 because of the pandemic, is joined in the main draw by Serena Williams and Sofia Kenin.

In the men’s Murray River Open, British number two Cameron Norrie was edged out 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 by American Tommy Paul.

Compatriot Dan Evans will play Pedro Sousa of Portugal in the same event on Tuesday.

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