Nadal, Sharapova, Wozniacki, Federer advance; Murray out at Australian Open

by Leon Thompson January 17, 2019, 1:46
Nadal, Sharapova, Wozniacki, Federer advance; Murray out at Australian Open

Five-time Grand Slam victor Maria Sharapova warned she can not be written off at this year's Australian Open after serving a 6-0, 6-0 "double bagel" to Britain's Harriet Dart in the first round Monday.

2008 champion Maria Sharapova looked about as good as you can in hammer British qualifier Harriet Dart 6-0, 6-0.

The Dane took some time to get into her stride against her Belgian opponent, who had stunned another defending champion, Garbine Muguruza, at Wimbledon a year ago.

"We now have 2019 and I try to continue to play how I did past year", said the three-time Grand Slam victor.

Nadal, who is bidding to become the first man in the Open Era, and only the third man ever, to win each of the four Grand Slams twice, ran his opponent down with his superior court coverage and ability to hit winners under pressure.

Kerber said her form improved during the match and her ball-striking was not side-tracked by the at-times inconsistent opponent.

Rafael Nadal, who won his only Australian title in 2009, was set to play James Duckworth, followed by 2016 victor Angelique Kerber against Polona Hercog.

Fifth-seeded Kevin Anderson won his first match at Melbourne Park since 2015 when he beat Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1.

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The third set didn't start like the others with the first break of serve going to Nadal at 4-2. I am very proud.

Jelena Ostapenko suffered a shock first-round defeat at the Australian Open on Monday as 2019's first grand slam got under way in Melbourne.

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki was scheduled to play Alison Van Utyvanck to start the night session, followed by six-time Australian champion Roger Federer's match against Denis Istomin.

The Spanish 17-time Grand Slam victor, who cut short his 2018 season to have surgery on a foot injury, cruised into round two of the year's opening major 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 against Australian wildcard James Duckworth.

The second seed was largely untroubled by Duckworth, who is ranked 237th in the world, in his first competitive match since the US Open in September.

Tomas Berdych picked up a surprisingly easy victory over the 13th-seeded Kyle Edmund, a 2018 Australian Open semifinalist, beating him 6-3, 6-0, 7-5. Duckworth showed he wouldn't go down easily after breaking at love at 4-5.

Nadal will lock horns with the victor of the match between Matthew Ebden and Jan-Lennard Struff.

The Australian number one displayed no signs of any physical or mental fatigue from his gruelling weekend program at the Sydney International in comfortably progressing to round two with a 6-4 7-5 6-4 win on Monday.

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