Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

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

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

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal has admitted Aussie James Duckworth's unique style of play had him stumped throughout his straight-sets first round rout of the journeyman.

"I mean, there is no time for that, I'm sorry to say", the 2008 victor told reporters.

The second-seeded Spaniard had pulled out of the Brisbane warmup with a thigh strain to raise doubts about his campaign but he allayed those fears on Rod Laver Arena against an error-prone opponent.

The first meeting between the 17-times Grand Slam champion, a victor at Melbourne Park in 2009, and Australian wildcard Duckworth, who is ranked 238 in the world, always had the potential to be an uneven contest.

Nadal has only lost twice in the first round at Grand Slams - to Steve Darcis at 2013 Wimbledon, and to Fernando Verdasco at Melbourne Park in 2016.

"When I get broken was not because of the serve", said the second seed who dished up just a single double fault.

Sharapova, a victor at Melbourne Park in 2008, signalled her intent with a rare 6-0, 6-0 double bagel demolition of Britain's Harriet Dart, who ended the match in tears.

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 a year ago.

Although she had a game point in the fifth game of the second set, she squandered that and all her other opportunities against the player she considers her idol.

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Fifth seed Kevin Anderson also progressed against Adrian Mannarino, with last year's Wimbledon finalist a 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 victor.

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

"I think it's very easy to be in a position where things are flowing, you know, you're doing all the right things, she's making a few errors, you're comfortable, easy to get complacent, and, you know, complacency is not great".

The only wobble came when she struggled to close out the match, blowing four match points on Townsend's serve before going on to claim victory off her own racquet.

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

Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki open their title defences later in the day, while Andy Murray takes to the court for what could be his farewell match in Melbourne and potentially his last ever.

The 26-year-old Australian won last month's Open wildcard playoff to earn his way into the main draw.

He starts off against Denis Istomin on Rod Laver Arena.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.

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