Former Champions Federer, Nadal, Sharapova Headline Day 1 At Australian Open
by Sean Randall | January 18th, 2015, 6:49 pm
  • 64 Comments

Novak Djokovic says he’s ready, so am I. The Grand Slam season begins in a few minutes down under in Melbourne with a very loaded opening day at the Australian Open.

But first to Djokovic. He’s the rightful favorite however is this mystery illness really behind him as he said? I’d say no. Fortunately he has time to work his way into form before next week’s madness. And his draw is a good one. Though let’s not ignore Novak’s health here.

So today we have a huge line-up with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. Plus Grigor Dimitrov, Tomas Berdych and those super talented young Australians.

For the top guys, I don’t see much of an issue. They all benefit from the best-of-5 format, especially against the lower ranked guys.

Mikhail Youzhny has beaten Nadal on four occasions, and may get a set tonight, but Rafa should get it into gear.

The two matches that catch my eye are Ernests Gulbis against the 18-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakas. We haven’t heard much from Earnie since his stunning French Open semifinal run while TK is a future star.

The other match is the battle between another 18-year-old future hope, Borna Coric, against former Australian Open quarterfinals Jeremy Chardy.

Dustin Brown and Grigor Dimitrov should also be a lot of fun as well.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN MONDAY SCHEDULE
Rod Laver Arena 11:00am Start Time
Karin Knapp (ITA) vs. Simona Halep (ROU)[3]
Ana Ivanovic (SRB)[5] vs. Lucie Hradecka (CZE)
Not Before: 2:00pm
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) vs. Rafael Nadal (ESP)[3]

Rod Laver Arena 7:00pm Start Time
Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) vs. Roger Federer (SUI)[2]
Petra Martic (CRO) vs. Maria Sharapova (RUS)[2]

Margaret Court Arena 11:00am Start Time
Jarmila Gajdosova (AUS) vs. Alexandra Dulgheru (ROU)
Andy Murray (GBR)[6] vs. Yuki Bhambri (IND)
Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) vs. Angelique Kerber (GER)[9]
Margaret Court Arena 7:00pm Start Time
Eugenie Bouchard (CAN)[7] vs. Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER)
Federico Delbonis (ARG) vs. Nick Kyrgios (AUS)

Hisense Arena 11:00am Start Time
Julia Goerges (GER) vs. Belinda Bencic (SUI)[32]
Sabine Lisicki (GER)[28] vs. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)
Tobias Kamke (GER) vs. Bernard Tomic (AUS)

Not Before: 5:00pm
Sam Groth (AUS) vs. Filip Krajinovic (SRB)


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64 Comments for Former Champions Federer, Nadal, Sharapova Headline Day 1 At Australian Open

Daniel Says:

Dimitrov of to a good start so far winning first set 6-2.


Daniel Says:

Dimitrov had a clean win 6-2, 6-3, 6-2. Hope he find his best form fro a cracker against Murray.

This Slam doesn’t seems like we’ll saw upsets so the more the seeds go through the better for exciting later rounds.


jatin Says:

So yuki breaks murray in the 3rd set. :)
Nice to see another Indian apart from somdev who is making a move. Winning a set( if he do) against someone like murray would be a great booster for his Carrier.

Meanwhile, Rafa is on court. Game on


Daniel Says:

Nadal lost first 5 points than one an excellent rally and is totally in now, 2 FH DTL winners already.


Michael Says:

Hsun Lu is a tough customer to negotiate especially in your first round. He has many upsets to his credit in the past and it is going to be tricky. But Roger should come through.

The interesting match of the day is ofcourse between Nadal and Youzhny and it should give us an indication of the kind of form he is in and also his fitness levels especially in a five set match. Youzhny has beaten Rafa in the past and he has a game to trouble him like Davydenko. His back hand is breath taking and is precariously close to the expertise of Wawarinka. And so Rafa cannot take this easy even though his opponent is past by sell date.


Daniel Says:

A lot of FH winners by Youzhny, but Nadal seems hitting the ball way better than Doha.


jatin Says:

Some scary good shot making by rafa and youzhny. Loving this encounter.
Youzhny leads rafa by 2-1. 1st set


Daniel Says:

Nadal converted third BP and is now serving 3-2. He is playing very good so far and seems will run away with this set.

Starting to think that he is in for this title as well. the courts not as fast as Doha and is a different game. He seems like the Nadal of old.


jatin Says:

Rafa is playing amazing tennis right now.
Leads 3-2


Daniel Says:

Youzhny had a BP 3-40 but Nadal saved with excellent points and an ace to close the game, 4-2. His serve is way better today with a lot of variation from Nadal.


jatin Says:

So here we are, Murray vs Yoki 3rd set tiebreaker.


jatin Says:

Murray through in straight sets


Daniel Says:

Well, so much for any drama. Nadal broke again when Youzhny was 30-0 to win first set. Expect rest of the match to be deluxe practice and Nadal to sail through the draw now until Berdych match and there only if Berdych decides to have the match of his life. Apart from it, Nadal in the semis waiting Fed or Murray or Dimitrov.


jane Says:

nadal looks totally fine so far…
murray looked solid, too, from what i saw.


Daniel Says:

Youzhny lost 12 points in a row now, 4 to lose first set and 8 this set. Nadal to win pretty fast now.

Only concern for him is if he will be tested in a long match or not for us to evaluate his fitness level.


Daniel Says:

Damm, 16-0 for Nadal in last 16 points, Youzhny haven’t won a point second set so far.


skeezer Says:

“Would be lying if I say I feel that I am ready to win today. I don’t feel myself ready to win the tournament here today”

Never doubted FakoNadal chances here..His history here speaks for itself He has alway done well here…one of his best HC chances. Trying to downplay his chances due to this or that is all BS. If he entered, he is here to win. No more camouflage BS.
When he didn’t draw a QF the first Rd…well you had to like his chances….


skeezer Says:

“Would be lying if I say I feel that I am ready to win today. I don’t feel myself ready to win the tournament here today”

Never doubted FakoNadal chances here..His history here speaks for itself He has alway done well here…one of his best HC chances. Trying to downplay his chances due to this or that is all BS. If he entered, he is here to win. No more camouflage BS.
When he didn’t draw a QF the first Rd…well you had to like his chances….


jatin Says:

Rafa is playing Scary good.
Certainly one of the favorites to win this tourney


jatin Says:

That ROAR by youhzny tells everything about the match and how difficult it is for him to stay with rafa.


jatin Says:

WOW.. What a game by youzhny. 3 huge ROARS in a row.


jatin Says:

This court is playing like Philip chatrier court of roland garros. Rafa is defending like he do in that court.
You can see how incredibly difficult for a player like youzhny to just win a point against him.
Lets see how much fight youzhny has left in him before he gives up.


jatin Says:

Rafa breaks. 4-2


jatin Says:

WOW
Rafa wins in style.
Its like he is saying ” Beware, I am back”.

Lets see how Roger fares in his first match. :)


Karthick Says:

Vamos Rafa!


Margot Says:

One down!
Come on Andy!
Said court playing quicker than he expected.


Danica Says:

Rafa was great. Granted, Misha didn’t play good at all but nevertheless, Rafa really impressed me.

Andy still needs to sharpen up his game. He won in 3 but it wasn’t easy.

Eager to see Nole tomorrow. Idemo! ;)


Margot Says:

Danica, probable reasons: qualifiers frequently play well above their pay grade, has been ranked much higher, Andy has never played him b4.
See a couple of female seeds have fallen already- Ana being one :(


Okiegal Says:

Speaking of getting sick, Kristina McHale threw up twice and it was a lot…..but she is still playing on!!


jatin Says:

Fed is spreading magic all over the court. Just loving it
2 sets to up already


jatin Says:

Outside the net backhand winner. That was breathtaking by fed.


jatin Says:

Meanwhile, Sam groth is through as well.


Wog Boy Says:

Federer is sparkling, nice shorts..


Wog Boy Says:

Nole is playing day match, they put Hewitt / Ze Zhang in the evening, prime time..


jatin Says:

Pretty excited to see hewitt in action again. He is a darling of Aussie’s and rightly so. A fierce competitor and an underrated grandslam champion


jatin Says:

Lu is fighting hard.


Wog Boy Says:

Troicki through to next round. Keep it up Viktor.


Wog Boy Says:

Actually, I think Roger is a bit flat in the third.


jatin Says:

Fed is misfiring a lot of forehands.
Lu lead 5-4


jatin Says:

Fed breaks


jatin Says:

Solid win by Roger.
6 more to go :)


Wog Boy Says:

Out of the two matches, Rafa and Roger ones, Rafa impressed me more, Rafa is the man to beat. I didn’t expect anything less from him, he is on the mission to win double career slam.


sienna Says:

yes well of course you are capable of stating that, since you know exactly how youznhy and Lu compaire to eachother in this point of time in their career.

But fair enough Nadal has walked the walk. He wont do the talk and is #1 favorite for title with Djoker comming out of morning sickness.


Michael Says:

What impressed me on the first day was Rafa’s exhilirating performance. With such a clinical execution and emphatic & authoritative display, Rafa has signalled to the Tennis World that he is back and that too with a bang. Those who have seen Youzhny play know that he is no push over and is infact a challenging opponent. But, Rafa didn’t show any cracks in his game which is bound to afflict when you have a long lay off and he managed to reproduce his error free Tennis with that monstrous forehand doing the fire works. Youzhny just had no answer to Rafa’s belligerence.


Daniel Says:

Didn’t see Roger match but Murray eas great for 2 sets, didn’t see the third either.
What impressed me most about Nadal
Was his return game, a lot of balls back in play and some insane DTL return winners as well. He eas very agressive and indeed this courr allowed him to play his best. Rosol and Anderson advanced (but losing sets), let’s see how he will fare against big serves as Youzhny serve wasn’t bothering Rafa at all. This brings more excitment as he started with a bang.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

The two most explosive players in the tourney are out: bye bye Kyrgios and Gulbis, don’t forget to pack up your bags of talent.

Was there anyone in the world who thought Kyrgios was clever for taking so much time off the tour just at the moment he was breaking through?


TennisVagabond.com Says:

With Monfils, Tsonga, Cilic and Del Potro out before we began, and Gulbis and Kyrgios packing up today, this tournament is decidedly low on firepower.

Berdych and Milos, you better carry the Heavyweight torch!


Giles Says:

Who said Kyrgios is out? He is still playing and leading in the 5th set!!!


Wog Boy Says:

Kyrgios is not out, he just broke Delbonis.

The real story is Kokkunakis, forget Tomic, forget Kyrgyis, new Aussie hero is Kokkinakis just 18 years of age. He did lap of honor at the end, people went crazy, it was like a football match. I couldn’t get in, it was full house with groundpasses, so ended up watching on the big screen in the park and didn’t regret. The star is born.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Wog Boy, thanks for correcting me I must have looked at the wrong score. I hope he can get back in form. What’s Kokkanis’ game like? I’ve never heard of him. Who does he get next?


Margot Says:

@Wog Boy
I saw a bit of that match and I too was very impressed. Kkk has a gr8 all round game, comes forward when possible and is very fast round the court.
Mind you, Gulbis is such a head case……;)


Wog Boy Says:

TV, He is playing Groth, big server. Margot said it in a few words what kind of player Kokkinakis is, pretty much agree. What I like about him, he doesn’t act like Tomic and Kyrgios, nice manners. I saw him first time two years ago when he played Nole in Perth as replacement, I forgot whose, it was just for a fun. He was 16 years old kid impressed to be in a company and play with Nole. He still has the same manners and he should keep it that way. The reason why I can’t warm up to Tomic and now Kyrgios is their personality, but that’s me. This kid, Kokkinakis is different, I hope I am not wrong.


elina Says:

Nadal’s last six losses with just eight wins since the French Open came against players ranked 127, 124,21,56, 144 and 85.

What was he thinking saying that he wasn’t one of the favourites this year? The gall.

Reading between the lines regarding Nadal, it seems one or two Fedfans are getting quite concerned already. Such a faker indeed.

(mew)


Wog Boy Says:

@Margot, I didn’t have a chance to meet Andy today, I’ll try tomorrow on one of practice courts, to meet him and hug him for you.


elina Says:

As far as those talking up Youzhny as a challenge, he himself was on a four match losing skid since last October losing to players ranked 171, 31, 58 and 74.


Margot Says:

@Wog Boy
Thank you darling :)Make sure you tell him it’s from his hugest fan on tx.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Felipe Says:

Nadal is fine. He has the easiest draw until round of 32…then he got Gasquet…then between Murray, Nishikori, Raonic and Berdych….he got Berdych….then between Djokovic and Federer….he got Federer. He must be pleased


Wog Boy Says:

Kokkinakis’ lap of honour:

http://youtu.be/vVNbh6azPG0


jane Says:

that’s sweet wog boy. looks like he won a lot of hearts! i see duckworth won too; i actually predicted that win ahead of time. a home / supportive crowd can do wonders.

on another note, i saw a picture of fed’s little boys; they look a little more like mirka than the girls do.


SG1 Says:

Nadal is now faster as he has less weight to carry around with the appendix removed. Talk about taking advantage of every rule within the rules!


skeezer Says:

SG1,
Lol ;)


Giles Says:

SG1 That joke is pretty stale now! Lol


SG1 Says:

Giles…I guess I didn’t see the joke at the time it was posted. My bad.


Wog Boy Says:

SG1,
Good one, thanks for sharing it, I didn’t know that one. Good joke is good joke, old or new.

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