MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Latest on Wednesday from the Australian Open (all times local):
Bethanie Mattek-Sands lost her longtime doubles partner Lucie Safarova when the Czech player decided to retire at the end of last year. Together they won five Grand Slam doubles titles, including the Australian Open twice.
So when Mattek-Sands began the search for a new teammate, there was no doubt who she’d go after.
“I went for the best. Demi can play with anybody,” Mattek-Sands said, smiling. She was referring to Demi Schuurs, one of the most accomplished doubles players on the tour who won seven WTA doubles titles last year with four different partners.
Mattek-Sands will also play mixed doubles with Jamie Murray, Andy Murray’s brother. Mattek-Sands and Jamie Murray won the U.S. Open mixed title last year and will try to make it two majors in a row.
Jamie Murray will play men’s doubles with Bruno Soares and will be third-seeded. The top men’s seeds in doubles will be Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, who won last year’s title at Melbourne Park.
Former U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens plays Timea Babos to open second-round singles play at Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday on Day Three of the Australian Open.
The fifth-seeded Stephens, who won the 2017 U.S. Open, captured junior doubles titles with Babos at the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2010.
Under sunny skies and an expected high temperature of 29 Celsius (84 Fahrenheit), local hope Ashleigh Barty is scheduled to play the second match on the main show court against Wang Yafan.
Then it’s over to defending champion Roger Federer for his match against Daniel Evans. Angelique Kerber, the 2016 champion, plays Beatriz Haddad Maia to open night play at Rod Laver, followed by Rafael Nadal’s match against Matthew Ebden.
Defending women’s singles champion Caroline Wozniacki plays Johanna Larsson over at Margaret Court Arena.
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