Australian Open: Nadal, Kenin march on to second round; Svitolina to face Gauff

Australian Open: Nadal, Kenin march on to second round; Svitolina to face Gauff


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Australian Open resumed its action on the second day under brilliant sunshine at Melbourne Park on Tuesday with Rafael Nadal and defending champion Sofia Kenin bagging easy wins in the first round.

NADAL BEATS DJERE

Spanish second seed Rafa Nadal defeated Serbia’s Laslo Djere 6-3 6-4 6-1 to reach the second round. The world number two will face the winner of two qualifiers — American Michael Mmoh or Viktor Troicki — for a place in the third round.

MEDVEDEV CRUISES PAST POSPISIL

Russian fourth seed Daniil Medvedev advanced to the second round with a 6-2 6-2 6-4 victory over Canada’s Vasek Pospisil. It was the world number four’s 15th consecutive win.

KENIN’S TITLE DEFENCE UP AND RUNNING

Sofia Kenin kickstarted her title defence with a 7-5 6-4 win over Australian wildcard Maddison Inglis. Kenin will meet either Kaia Kanepi or Anastasija Sevastova in the next round.

MUGURUZA MARCHES INTO SECOND ROUND

Garbine Muguruza’s bid for a first Australian Open title began with a bang as she trounced Russian lucky loser Margarita Gasparyan 6-4 6-0 in the opening match at Margaret Court.

Twice Grand Slam champion Muguruza reached the final last year but lost to surprise package Kenin.

SVITOLINA SETS UP GAUFF CLASH

Elina Svitolina won a second set tiebreak to squeeze past Czech Marie Bouzkova 6-3 7-6(5). Ukrainian Svitolina, the fifth seed, will face Coco Gauff in the second round after the American beat Jil Teichmann of Switzerland 6-3 6-2.

BENCIC THROUGH IN THREE SETS

Swiss 11th seed Belinda Bencic battled past American Lauren Davis 6-3 4-6 6-1 to reach the second round. Bencic struck eight aces and 36 winners but has plenty of room for improvement, making 47 unforced errors.

Bencic will next face Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova.

AZARENKA MAKES EARLY EXIT

Victoria Azarenka, the 12th seed, was dumped out in the first round after being beaten 7-5 6-4 by American main draw debutant Jessica Pegula.

Azarenka, who made 25 unforced errors and seven double faults, needed a medical timeout midway through the second set after appearing to have trouble breathing.

BAUTISTA AGUT CRASHED OUT

Moldova’s Radu Albot, ranked 85, knocked out Spanish 12th seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the opening round with a 6-7(1) 6-0 6-4 7-6(5) win.

DE MINAUR WINS IN STRAIGHT SETS

Australian 21st seed Alex de Minaur cruised to the second round with a 7-5 6-1 6-1 win over American Tennys Sandgren.

GOFFIN KNOCKED OUT BY LOCAL WILD CARD

Belgian 13th seed David Goffin crashed out in the opening round following a 6-3 4-6 7-6(4) 6-7(6) 3-6 loss to Australian wild card Alexei Popyrin.





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