Venus Williams
3 5

Belinda Bencic
6 7

Tennis

ByTheMinTennis

Helloooo everyone, ready for some nocturnal tennis? The first match on court has just finished, so we should be getting underway with this one very soon! I'm Anna, and I'll be taking you through all the action in this thrilling first round encounter between Venus Williams, and Belinda Bencic.

So as I'm sure everyone is aware, Venus was the runner-up last year, to her sister Serena, and is, as-ever, a fab competitor. Belinda had some injury woes during last year, but she has come back with a bang, and has just won the Hopman Cup with Roger Federer in Perth! They have met 4 times before, with Venus winning all 4 meetings, but their last was in 2015, so who knows what tonight will bring?

Do feel free to leave a comment as you're following along, tell us where you're watching from and what time it is there! #SleepIsForTheWeak was the official hashtag of the Australian Open, which is fitting in the UK as play only starts at 12am our time!

Right, we just have the players walking out onto court!

Okay, Belinda Bencic wins the coin toss, and she elects to receive. Warm-up time!

I have heard that they're trialling the shot clock with regards to the warm-up times in the main draw matches, so the 5 minute warm-up is strictly enforced, as is the one minute the players have to leave their bags down and get to the middle of the court!

I'm still in shock that this is a first round match, obviously it's because of how Belinda's ranking has slipped due to her injury, but it's a match-up more suited to the latter stages of the event!

Ready? Play.

A FANTASTIC rally to start us off, finishing with a lovely Williams winner down the line; 15-0. Big first serve; 30-0. Bencic taking full advantage of that second serve, finishing the point at the net; 30-15. Ahhh, great return from Bencic, but she nets the next backhand; 40-15. Annnnnd that's the hold for Williams.

Lovely forehand from Bencic, pulling Williams out wide; 15-0. Great first serve! 30-0. WOW! Beautiful pass from Bencic! 40-0. Williams sets the point up well, but she sends the volley wide, and Bencic gets the hold.