Sat, 26 Sep 2020

Melbourne - Top seed Rafael Nadal turned on the style as he launched his bid for a record-equalling 20th Major title at the Australian Open on Tuesday, but falling star Maria Sharapova hit a career low.

Australia's Nick Kyrgios also cantered into the second round, but fourth seed Daniil Medvedev had to fight his way past American Frances Tiafoe in four sets.

Nadal, one shy of Roger Federer's Grand Slam mark, dropped only five games as he swatted aside Bolivia's Hugo Dellien 6-2, 6-3, 6-0 in just over two hours at a sunny Rod Laver Arena.

"It was a positive start," said the reigning Roland Garros and US Open champion, wearing a bright pink singlet and matching trainers.

"What you want in the first round is just to win, and it's better if it's in straight sets."

He joins Federer and defending champion Novak Djokovic in round two as the Big Three look to tighten a stranglehold that has brought them all but one of the last 14 Australian Open titles.

Nadal, the first player to be world number one in three different decades, is still thriving at 33 but it's a different story for five-time Grand Slam winner Sharapova.

The 32-year-old, playing on a wildcard as she wrestles with a shoulder injury, lost 6-3, 6-4 to Croatian 19th seed Donna Vekic, making her an opening-round loser at three straight Grand Slams for the first time.

The future looks uncertain for the former world number one, who won Wimbledon when she was just 17 but has not reached a Grand Slam final since she lifted the 2014 French Open trophy.

"I can speak about my struggles and the things that I've gone through with my shoulder, but it's not really in my character to," Sharapova said.

"I was there, I put myself out there (playing). As tough as it was, I finished the match -- it wasn't the way that I wanted."

Britain's Johanna Konta, a two-time Slam semi-finalist, also fell at the first hurdle as she battles to overcome a knee problem, losing 4-6, 2-6 to unseeded Tunisian Ons Jabeur.

On a bumper day of 88 first-round matches, after rain wiped out half of Monday's schedule, former US Open champion Marin Cilic and Milos Raonic both moved safely through.

Italy's Fabio Fognini, two sets down against America's Reilly Opelka when their match was suspended on Monday, returned to win it in five after a stormy encounter when both players argued furiously with the umpire.

A new star emerged in 18-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner, last year's NextGen champion, who earned his first Grand Slam victory against Australia's Max Purcell.

Australia's Kyrgios, who has spearheaded fundraising efforts for the country's deadly bushfire disaster, kept his notorious temper in check despite being taken to two tie-breaks in a 6-2, 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7-1) win over Lorenzo Sonego of Italy.

"I feel super-comfortable, you guys are the best. I feel the support.... I am ready to go again," Kyrgios told the crowd.

Medvedev, the narrow loser to Nadal in September's US Open final, dropped the second set against Tiafoe before recovering to win 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Austria's Dominic Thiem, who has reached the last two French Open finals, went through in straight sets against Adrian Mannarino, while 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka needed four to get past Damir Dzumhur.

Seventh seed Alexander Zverev beat Marco Cecchinato in straight sets but there was disappointment for France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist, who retired with a back injury against Australia's Alexei Popyrin.

Elsewhere, women's fourth seed Simona Halep survived some painful-looking falls to beat America's Jennifer Brady, and 2016 champion Angelique Kerber dropped only four games against Elisabetta Cocciaretto of Italy.

Air pollution from the bushfires disrupted the build-up to the year's first Grand Slam, but after Monday's heavy rain the skies were clear and sunny on Tuesday.

Results on day two of the Australian Open Grand Slam at Melbourne Park on Tuesday:

Men's singles

1st round

Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Hugo Dellien (BOL) 6-2, 6-3, 6-0

Federico Del Bonis (ARG) bt Joao Sousa (POR) 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3)

Peter Gojowczyk (GER) bt Christopher Eubanks (USA) 7-6 (7/1), 6-3, 4-6, 6-0

Pablo Carreno-Busta (ESP x27) bt Jozef Kovalk (SVK) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/2)

Nick Kyrgios (AUS x23) bt Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 6-2, 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/1)

Mikael Ymer (SWE) bt Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN) 6-4, 6-1, 6-2

Karen Khachanov (RUS x16) bt Mario Vilella (ESP) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3

Gael Monfils (FRA x10) bt Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE) 6-1, 6-4, 6-2

Ivo Karlovic (CRO) bt Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 7-5

Aljaz Bedene (SLO) bt James Duckworth (AUS) 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-4

Ernests Gulbis (LAT) bt Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN x20) 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4

Taylor Fritz (USA x29) bt Tallon Griekspoor (NED) 6-3, 6-3, 6-3

Alex Bolt (AUS) bt Albert Ramos (ESP) 7-6 (7/1), 1-6, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-4

Dominic Thiem (AUT x5) bt Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 6-3, 7-5, 6-2

Daniil Medvedev (RUS x4) bt Frances Tiafoe (USA) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2

Pedro Martinez (ESP) bt Dominik Koepfer (GER) 6-3, 6-4, 7-5

Jaume Munar (ESP) bt Hugo Gaston (FRA) 7-5, 5-7, 6-0, 6-3

Alexei Popyrin (AUS) bt Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x28) 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-1 ret

Andreas Seppi (ITA) bt Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7/3)

Stan Wawrinka (SUI x15) bt Damir Dzumhur (BIH) 7-5, 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-4

David Goffin (BEL x11) bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-4, 6-3, 6-1

Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) bt Cameron Norrie (GBR) 7-5, 3-6, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4

Yuichi Sugita (JPN) bt Elliot Benchetrit (FRA) 6-2, 6-0, 6-3

Andrey Rublev (RUS x17) bt Christopher O'Connell (AUS) 6-3, 0-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)

Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO x26) bt Kwon Soon-woo (KOR) 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3

Fernando Verdasco (ESP) bt Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 7-5, 6-2, 6-1

Alexander Zverev (GER x7) bt Marco Cecchinato (ITA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3

Tennys Sandgren (USA) bt Marco Trungelliti (ARG) 6-1, 6-4, 7-5

Jordan Thompson (AUS) bt Alexander Bublik (KAZ) 6-4, 6-3, 6-2

Fabio Fognini (ITA x12) bt Reilly Opelka (USA) 3-6, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (10/5)

Jannik Sinner (ITA) bt Max Purcell (AUS) 7-6 (7/2), 6-2, 6-4

Tommy Paul (USA) bt Leonardo Mayer (ARG) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4

Hubert Hurkacz (POL x31) bt Dennis Novak (AUT) 6-7 (4/7), 1-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4

John Millman (AUS) bt Ugo Humbert (FRA) 7-6 (7/3), 6-3, 1-6, 7-5

Filip Krajinovic (SRB) bt Quentin Halys (FRA) 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/1), 3-6, 4-6, 7-5

Christian Garin (CHI) bt Stefano Travaglia (ITA) 6-4, 6-3, 6-4

Milos Raonic (CAN x32) bt Lorenzo Giustino (ITA) 6-2, 6-1, 6-3

Benot Paire (FRA x21) bt Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-0

Marin Cilic (CRO) bt Corentin Moutet (FRA) 6-3, 6-2, 6-4

Michael Mmoh (USA) bt Pablo Andujar (ESP) 6-1, 6-4, 6-4

Roberto Bautista (ESP x9) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-2, 6-2, 7-5

Diego Schwartzman (ARG x14) bt Lloyd Harris (RSA) 6-4, 6-2, 6-2

Alejandro Davidovich (ESP) bt Norbert Gombos (SVK) 4-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2

Marc Polmans (AUS) bt Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7 (8/10), 6-4

Dusan Lajovic (SRB x24) bt Kyle Edmund (GBR) 7-6 (9/7), 6-3, 7-6 (7/4)

Tatsuma Ito (JPN) bt Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) 6-4, 6-2, 7-5

Gilles Simon (FRA) bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-1, 6-3, 6-3

Women's singles

1st round

Polona Hercog (SLO) bt Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 6-3, 6-3

Greet Minnen (BEL) bt Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 7-5

Elena Rybakina (KAZ x29) bt Bernarda Pera (USA) 6-3, 6-2

Alison Riske (USA x18) bt Wang Yafan (CHN) 7-6 (7/5), 2-6, 6-3

Madison Keys (USA x10) bt Darya Kasatkina (RUS) 6-3, 6-1

Arantxa Rus (NED) bt Magda Linette (POL) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4

Nao Hibino (JPN) bt Shuai Peng (CHN) 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3

Maria Sakkari (GRE x22) bt Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) 6-2, 6-2

Ons Jabeur (TUN) bt Johanna Konta (GBR x12) 6-4, 6-2

Caroline Garcia (FRA) bt Madison Brengle (USA) 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 6-2

Dayana Yastremska (UKR x23) bt Kaja Juvan (SLO) 6-1, 6-1

Wang Qiang (CHN x27) bt Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 7-6 (7/2), 6-3

Fiona Ferro (FRA) bt Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 6-2, 6-1

Belinda Bencic (SUI x6) bt Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) 6-3, 7-5

Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) bt Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) 6-1, 6-4

Donna Vekic (CRO x19) bt Maria Sharapova (RUS) 6-3, 6-4

Alize Cornet (FRA) bt Monica Niculescu (ROU) 5-7, 6-1, 6-0

Catherine Bellis (USA) bt Tatjana Maria (GER) 6-0, 6-2

Karolina Muchova (CZE x20) bt Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (10/7)

Danielle Collins (USA x26) bt Vitalia Diatchenko (RUS) 6-1, 3-6, 6-4

Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) bt Hsieh Su-wei (TPE) 6-1, 6-3

Harriet Dart (GBR) bt Misaki Doi (JPN) 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (10/6)

Simona Halep (ROU x4) bt Jennifer Brady (USA) 7-6 (7/5), 6-1

Elina Svitolina (UKR x5) bt Katie Boulter (GBR) 6-4, 7-5

Lauren Davis (USA) bt Leylah Fernandez (CAN) 6-4, 6-2

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) bt Shelby Rogers (USA) 0-6, 6-1, 6-0

Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) bt Anastasija Sevastova (LAT x31) 6-1, 6-1

Zarina Diyas (KAZ) bt Amanda Anisimova (USA x21) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3

Anna Blinkova (RUS) bt Jasmine Paolini (ITA) 7-5, 6-4

Arina Rodionova (AUS) bt Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-0

Kiki Bertens (NED x9) bt Irina Begu (ROU) 6-1, 6-4

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) bt Marketa Vondrousova (CZE x15) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4

Camila Giorgi (ITA) bt Antonia Lottner (GER) 6-3, 6-3

Priscilla Hon (AUS) bt Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) 6-3, 6-4

Angelique Kerber (GER x17) bt Elisabetta Cocciaretto (ITA) 6-2, 6-2

Laura Siegemund (GER) bt Coco Vandeweghe (USA) 6-1, 6-4

Karolina Pliskova (CZE x2) bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-1, 7-5

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