Monday January 5th, 2015

Karolina Pliskova saves match points to beat Victoria Azarenka

​In the match of the day, the 22-year-old Czech battled for 3 hours and 13 minutes to best Azarenka, 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4 in the first round of the Brisbane International. The loss means two-time champion Azarenka will be unseeded at the Australian Open. She'll undoubtedly be the most dangerous floater in the draw. 

Madison Keys looked sharp in win over Dominika Cibulkova

​No doubt Cibulkova isn't even close to playing the level of tennis that got her to the Australian Open final last year, but Keys was firing on all cylinders to notch a 7-5, 6-2 win in Brisbane. She hit 36 winners to 16 unforced errors, pounding down 12 aces and just one double-fault. 

WATCH LIST: Matches to watch as 2015 season kicks off in Brisbane, Doha

John Isner and Serena Williams led the U.S. to a 3-0 win over Italy

The American No. 1s had to rely on their comeback skills to give the U.S. a win at Hopman Cup. Serena needed a shot of espresso to turn her match around against Flavia Pennetta, winning 0-6, 6-3, 6-0. Isner beat Fabio Fognini 5-7, 7-5, 7-6. Then they all paired up for some entertaining mixed doubles, won by the Americans in the supertiebreak. Next up for Team America is a much-anticipated tie against Canada on Tuesday. 

The WTA youth still going strong

In addition to Pliskova and Keys, the WTA's youth corp scored a series of first round upsets at the ASB Classic. Taylor Townsend, 18, beat former U.S. Open semifinalist Yanina Wickmayer 7-5, 3-6, 6-0 in Auckland to put herself in position to make her Top 100 debut next Monday. 17-year-old Ana Konjuh brushed aside eighth seed Mona Barthel 6-2, 6-1. And though it wasn't an upset, Sloane Stephens started her season off with a solid 6-3, 6-1 win over Silvia Soler-Espinosa.

Thanasi Kokkinakis upsets Julien Benneteau

The 18-year-old Australian wildcard, ranked No. 149, rolled past No. 8 seed Benneteau 6-4, 6-3 in the first round of Brisbane. On the whole, it was a good day for the Aussies: James Duckworth lost just four games to No. 6 seed Gilles Simon and Bernard Tomic beat Sam Querrey 7-5, 7-6 (5). That might make up for one of the shockers over the weekend, when Sam Stosur blew a 5-1 lead and match point to lose 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 to Varvara Lepchenko. 

• NGUYEN: Under the radar players to keep an eye on in 2015

Vera Zvonareva outgrinds Peng Shuai

The former No. 2 is back on the comeback trail and beat No. 3 seed Peng 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Also in Shenzhen, top seed Simona Halep needed three sets to beat Annika Beck 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. No. 2 seed Petra Kvitova had a far easier time, beating Duan Ying-Ying 6-3, 6-1. 

Photo of the day

Paul Kane/Getty Images

Photo of the day: Fognini edition

Paul Kane/Getty Images

Video of the day

[youtube=http://youtu.be/nz_hxm-_3UY]

Vine of the day

Tuesday's Matches to Watch:

Brisbane: Maria Sharapova vs. Yaroslava Shvedova, Lleyton Hewitt vs. Sam Groth, Madison Keys vs. Varvara Lepchenko

​Doha: Novak Djokovic vs. Dusan Lajovic, Rafael Nadal vs. Michael Berrer

Auckland: Venus Williams vs. Jana Cepelova, Caroline Wozniacki vs. Julia Glushko, CoCo Vandeweghe vs. Roberta Vinci

Tweets of the day

[tweet=https://twitter.com/sloanetweets/status/551954568234274816]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/henrikontinen/status/551711205270630400]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/NickKyrgios/status/552018897172705280]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/Madison_Keys/status/551951515867291649]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/andy_murray/status/552139030473633794]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/hopmancup/status/552084817156661248]

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