Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Nadal flies into Open round two as Sharapova sends warning

Tennis News Australian Open: Rafael Nadal stumped by James Duckworth Defending champ Wozniacki fires into Open second round
Kristopher Love | 14 January, 2019, 15:23

Nadal said in his on-court interview: 'It's not easy to come back after a lot of months, and especially against a player who's super aggressive.

Nadal looked in impressive form in his first competitive match since the US Open in September.

"But when you're playing the first round of a grand slam, I have been in many positions, past year Wimbledon came out against a qualifier that played really well".

Nadal used all his experience to win his next service game from 15-30 down before breaking Duckworth again for the straight-sets win.

Fifth seed Kevin Anderson also progressed against Adrian Mannarino, with last year's Wimbledon finalist a 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 victor.

Andy Murray almost pulled off quite a comeback before losing 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-2 to 22nd-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open on Monday, his first opening-round exit from a Grand Slam tournament in a decade.

Maria Sharapova has the second-best record among active women's players in first-round matches at the majors, and she gave an illustration of why that's the case with a ruthless 6-0, 6-0 win over Harriet Dart.

"I'm still working through some painful days".

The only break point Sharapova faced was when she double-faulted in the fifth game of the second set. "But, you know, I felt like I did all the right things today in order to get through that match".

It seemed Boulter wasn't told, fist-pumping and walking to the net at 7/4 before being reminded of the new rule.

Boulter beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-0, 4-6, 7-6 (6), including 10-6 in the tiebreaker.

Spain's 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut is the man who could draw the curtain on Murray's time in Melbourne, where he has been a five-time finalist.

Sharapova, who won the Australian Open in 2008, will meet Swede Rebecca Peterson in the second round.

He starts off against Denis Istomin on Rod Laver Arena.

He said he would like to finish his career at Wimbledon, but admitted the Australian Open could be his last tournament.

Stung by a first-round loss at Wimbledon past year, Sharapova said she couldn't afford to feel any empathy for Dart.