Australian Open men's roundup -- Monday first-round matches

Carolione Wozniacki
Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki reacts during a practice session ahead of the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne

17 January, 2019

Russian Sharapova, who is a previous Australian Open victor and seeded 30th in the world, double-bageled Harriet Dart in her opening round, winning 6-0, 6-0 to set up a second round meeting with Rebecca Peterson.

The 22-year-old Dart had a game point on her serve in the eighth game of the match, but Sharapova rallied to break the British player and continue the rout.

Maria Sharapova, who will get things going on Rod Laver Arena, stands fourth all-time for main draw matches at the Australian Open with 67.

"It's nothing new for me", the 17-time Grand Slam victor said adding: "I just accept the challenges the body and the tennis present".

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.

"I know, you were closing your eyes to be more focused on what I was saying", he added, continuing to make light of the embarrassing situation.

Popular darkhorse pick Aryna Sabalenka won her first career Australian Open match thumping Russian qualifier Anna Kalinskaya 6-1, 6-4.

Former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko was beaten 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 by Maria Sakkari. His only hiccup came when he served for the match in the ninth game of the third set and was broken at love.

In-form fifth seed Kevin Anderson has avoided another first-round banana skin at the Australian Open to set up a clash with American young gun Frances Tiafoe. "I know it very well".

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Williams grabbed at her right shoulder several times during the match, but said it wasn't anything to worry about. Williams and Federer both served well against each other, but Federer's sublime touch at the net proved decisive.

The third-seeded Dane broke Van Uytvanck once in each set and kept her unforced errors down to win the baseline battle in an hour and 33 minutes in the first match of the evening session at the Rod Laver Arena.

Rafale Nadal during the 2019 Australian Open.

But she looked comfortable seeing off 93rd ranked Townsend 6-4, 6-2, growing in confidence as the match wore on.

The 17-time grand slam champion was happy with his opening win, having made 67 per cent of his first serves.

A change in the rules for this tournament means matches that reach 6-6 in the deciding set will be finished by a first-to-10-points tie-break rather than the standard first-to-seven-points one.

Nadal claims he has been left in the dark by archrival Novak Djokovic over the leadership of the men's tour after eliminating James Duckworth 6-4 6-3 7-5.

Alex de Minaur is up and running at Melbourne Park, the teenage warrior kick-starting his Australian Open campaign with a straight-sets win over Pedro Sousa.

Nadal faces a second round clash against the victor of Aussie Matthew Ebden's match against Jan-Lennard Struff.

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