Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Rafael Nadal happy with new serve after comfortable win

Rafael Nadal happy with new serve after comfortable win

Nadal moved on with a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 win over Australian wild-card entry James Duckworth, his first match back at Rod Laver Arena since he had to retire in his quarterfinal match in the tournament previous year.

Former champion Maria Sharapova gave hapless Harriet Dart a 6-0, 6-0 shellacking to fly into the second round of the Australian Open on Monday and had no words of comfort to offer the British qualifier after leaving her in tears.

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

However, the 17-time grand slam victor paused momentarily after spotting one of the journalists taking a nap in the room.

Nadal won the Australian Open in 2009 and is bidding to become the first man in the Open era to win each Grand Slam on two or more occasions.

Rafale Nadal during the 2019 Australian Open.

"Today he went on court with the determination to not play tennis the way that, you know, I understand tennis", Nadal said in his post-match press conference.

"You've got to come out here and win the match".

Wimbledon runner-up Kevin Anderson fired 14 aces and 47 winners to blast past Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-3 5-7 6-2 6-1.

"It was a good test for my leg, for my shoulder", she said.

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Eleventh seed Aryna Sabalenka, widely tipped as a potential future champion, also safely negotiated round one on a hot day.

He starts his campaign on day one against Denis Istomin on Rod Laver Arena - the Uzbek who caused a massive upset two years ago when he knocked out Novak Djokovic in the second round.

The second set followed the same pattern, with Dart finally put out of her misery trying to save match point when she hit a return wide despite having an open court before her.

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

Defending champion Roger Federer was scheduled to play a night match later Monday.

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

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.

The towering South African, who has never gone beyond the fourth round in Melbourne, next meets unseeded American Frances Tiafoe, who beat qualifier Prajnesh Gunneswaran 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 6-3.

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