Latvians Ostapenko and Gulbis begin Australian Open with victories

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Latvian tennis players Aļona Ostapenko and Ernests Gulbis reached the second round of the  Australian Open on Tuesday, January 21, but for Anastasija Sevastova the tournament has unfortunately already ended, according to information from the organizers on January 21.

Ostapenko, ranked 45th in the world, began the first Grand Slam of the season with a convincing victory over Liudmila Samsonova from Russia in their first time playing against each other with a score of 6-1, 6-4. It was Ostapenko's fourth time at the Australian Open, while for he opponent, ranked 136th in the world, it was her debut.

Sevastova, ranked 32nd in the world, lost to her home-country opponent Ajla Tomljanovic, who is ranked 52 in the world, with a score of 1-6, 1-6. Sevastova won both of the previous two times the women met in a tournament. It was her seventh time participating in the tournament, and the furthest she has gone is the fourth round.

Ernest Gulbis, ranked 258th in the world, won a tough battle against Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, ranked 22nd in the world, finally beating him with a score of 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7:4), 6-4. This is Gulbis' tenth Australian Open, and best accomplishment is reaching the second round. It was the Canadian's first time at the tournament.

The Australian Open is held in Melbourne from January 20 - February 2 and will have record-breaking prize fund this year of $71 million (20.4 million euros).

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