Australian Open kicks off 1st Grand Slam of the decade

Australian Open kicks off 1st Grand Slam of the decade
Spectators wait for play to start in Garden Square ahead of the first round singles matches at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Cloudy skies and the threat of rain greeted players and spectators on Day 1 at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the decade.

Defending champion Naomi Osaka was playing the opening match at Rod Laver Arena against Marie Bouzkova. Following that, Serena Williams begins her quest for a record 24th Grand Slam singles title.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic begins his chase for an eighth Australian Open title and third-seeded Roger Federer starts his campaign for a men’s-leading 21st Grand Slam singles title, both in later matches at Rod Laver

Night matches feature No. 1-ranked Ash Barty, who is hoping to become the first Australian woman to win her home major since 1978, and an American veteran playing a rising star — Venus Williams vs. Coco Gauff.

Weather forecasters are saying there’s a 100% chance of showers along with the possibility of thunderstorms. A high temperature of 21 Celsius (70 Fahrenheit) is expected.

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