Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
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Powerful start for Rafa Nadal at Australian Open

Powerful start for Rafa Nadal at Australian Open

Maria Sharapova has the second-best record among active women's players in first-round matches at the majors, and she gave an illustration of why that's the case with a ruthless 6-0, 6-0 win over Harriet Dart.

The 2009 victor had pulled out of the Brisbane International warm-up with a thigh strain but showed no signs of the problem in his opener.

He lost a five-setter to Britain's Kyle Edmund in round one a year ago and had to overcome a second-set blip Monday, dropping his serve twice from a break up against the French world number 41, before prevailing in two hours 53 minutes on Melbourne Arena.

She got seven of her 29 points from Sharapova's double-faults.

"But when you're playing the first round of a grand slam, I have been in many positions, previous year Wimbledon came out against a qualifier that played really well". The Russian ended her 2018 season early with a shoulder injury.

"You keep working and put your head down and kind of disappear once I leave here and just work", he told reporters.

This was his last Australian Open and the question is whether he will be able to compete at Wimbledon, where he won two of his three major titles. "I'm confident that I think it needs a good performance by my opponent probably to beat me", said Federer, the third seed.

Also advancing were 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, No. 11 Aryna Sabalenka, No. 19 Caroline Garcia, No. 29 Donna Vekic and No. 31 Petra Martic.

Wild Card Duckworth pulled off some lovely shots - particularly in the final few games to entertain the crowd - but despite breaking the 17-time Grand Slam champion at 5-3 down in the final set, he could not make it count. His only hiccup came when he served for the match in the ninth game of the third set and was broken at love.

Wimbledon semi-finalist Isner fell at the first hurdle at Melbourne Park for the second year in a row, having been beaten by unseeded Australian Matthew Ebden in a major shock last year.

She was on the wrong side of the ledger when American Lindsay Davenport beat her 6-0, 6-0 at Indian Wells in 2005.

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