Ruthless Nadal powers to first round win at Open

Lynette Rowe
January 18, 2018

A meeting with either Australia's John Millman or Damir Dzumhur - now in action on Court No3 - awaits the lucky victor.

An animated Nadal leapt into the air and pumped his fist with delight after sending a searing forehand victor down the line to go up 4-2 before serving out the match. Despite Mayer leading 40-15, the Argentine had a few loose points and an errant backhand long yielded a huge "Come on!" from Nadal.

"He is a very risky opponent, I produced a couple of great shots in the tie-break", said Nadal, who won his only Australian Open in 2009.

'He's a player with big potential.

Troicki accidentally hit chair umpire James Keothavong on the head with an attempted passing shot, causing much hilarity around the stadium.

"I'm exhausted but really happy", the popular Frenchman, who has been troubled by a calf injury in the build-up to the tournament, said on Margaret Court Arena.

He said: "For not being in competition in a while, it's the second victory in a row so that is very good news for me".

"I don't know what the stats are but I reckon past year he probably played the most drop shots on tour by a fair way", said Millman, who played the Open on an injury-protected ranking.

US Open champion Sloane Stephens was first to go, followed quickly by last year's Australian Open runner-up, Venus Williams. If you don't read it and you're a bit wrong-footed, there's not a lot you can do to be honest.

Tsonga required all his years of experience to tame teenager Denis Shapovalov and reach the last 32.

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Tsonga, seeded 15th, looked dead and buried when trailing 2-5 in the final set before 18-year-old Shapovalov faltered and allowed the experienced Frenchman to seize the initiative.

Mayer, despite the three-set defeat, was applauded off court.

"I'm exhausted but really happy", said Tsonga, who has been troubled by a calf injury in the build-up to the Open. That's what I did today.

There was certainly no problem with the way the Aussie was playing, taking out the contest in four sets. "I suffered physically but I continued to fight".

American Ryan Harrison pulled off a minor upset when he beat 31st-seeded Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Wozniacki was 5-1 down and facing two match points in third set against No. 119-ranked Jana Fett before deciding she had no choice but to attack.

In other action Wednesday, Ivo Karlovic of Croatia outlasted Yuichi Sugita of Japan 7-6 (3), 6-7 (3), 7-5, 4-6, 12-10.

Sixth seed Marin Cilic hit 40 winners, including 20 aces, on his way to a 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 second-round victory over Portugal's Joao Sousa.

Things will get harder for her now, against fellow Ukrainian and No. 4-seeded Elina Svitolina, who had a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 win over Katerina Siniakova.

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