Wawrinka, Nishikori, Cilic Escape with Wins on Day 1 at Australian Open
by Staff | January 16th, 2017, 9:07 am
  • 27 Comments

World No. 1 Andy Murray cruised, but three Top 10 seeds found themselves down a set in difficult encounters on Day 1 at the Australian Open.


No. 4 Stanislas Wawrinka came from a set down to defeat Slovak Martin Klizan in five 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, while No. 5 Kei Nishikori needed five sets to beat Russia’s hard-hitting Andrey Kuznetsov 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-2, and No. 7 Marin Cilic came from two sets down to disappoint Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz 4-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

Nishikori was not enthused about staying out for five sets in his opener to start his Melbourne campaign.

“I think I let him come back fourth set,” said Japan’s No. 1, who will next face Jeremy Chardy. “I should have finished that set. Especially I was up tiebreak, but I think he played well from the beginning. Fifth set I start playing much better. Yeah, it was tough, really tough match…Unfortunate to play five sets in long match, but, yeah, should be okay for next one.”

Wawrinka was down a break in the fifth against Klizan.

“I’m really happy to get through in five sets,” the Swiss said. “It wasn’t my best tennis today, but I was fighting, trying to stay in the game. I think he was playing well. He didn’t give me too much rhythm. He made me play not my best tennis. I’m happy to get through, that’s the most important thing.”

Murray kept the Ukraine’s Illya Marchenko at arm’s length with a 7-5, 7-6(5), 6-2 win. The Brit has not been a fan of the weather in Melbourne to start the week.

“I don’t think it was the best match, to be honest,” Murray said afterwards. “The conditions there were pretty different to what we’ve been practicing. Last week’s been pretty cool. A lot of days, it’s been overcast. The temperature of the court is much cooler. When it’s like that, the ball is bouncing a bit lower, a bit easier to control the ball. I was a bit tentative because of that. Didn’t serve that well either. So you end up having to work really hard on a lot of your service games when it’s like that. It just was tough.”

The only other Top 10er in action Monday, No. 10 Tomas Berdych, recieved a pass when Italian opponent Luca Vanni retired after losing the first set 6-1.

Lower seeds into the second round were No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 14 Nick Kyrgios, No. 17 Roger Federer who beat Jurgen Melzer in four in the final night match, No. 19 John Isner, No. 23 Jack Sock, No. 27 Bernard Tomic, No. 29 Viktor Troicki who needed five sets to tame Damir Dzumhur, and No. 31 Sam Querrey.

Federer will next meet American and No. 22-ranked Noah Rubin, who defeated countryman Bjorn Fratangelo in five 6-7(4), 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

“I thought my serve was on and off in the beginning, which surprised me a little bit, because in practice it’s been going pretty well,” Federer said after winning in four sets. “I was feeling nervous once the match actually started. I was actually fine all day, warming up, in the warm-up five minutes with Jurgen. I felt fine. Then I hit four frames in a row. It was like, ‘Whew, it’s not as easy as I thought it was going to be.’”

Kyrgios told the media that since he’s beaten just about everyone in the draw, he does think of himself as a contender for the Australian Open title.

“I think I reserved a lot of energy [today],” Kyrgios said after his win. “I was actually really impressed with the way I served, the way I returned. I obviously haven’t played that many matches leading up to the match.”

The Aussie bad boy #2, Tomic, looked impressive in dropping only seven games against Thomaz Bellucci.

“I was working hard when everybody was saying I wasn’t ready and not fit,” Tomic told the media. “Obviously I proved that the first round was very high-quality tennis for me. It was hot, but I was trying to focus on what I needed to do. It was a very, very quality match from a tough opponent in the first round.”

Three upsets of the day were of lower seeds as Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik ousted No. 16 Lucas Pouille 6-0, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4; Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman put down No. 22 Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-3, 6-0; and Slovak Lukas Lacko ground out a five-set win over No. 26 Albert Ramos 4-6, 7-5, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Notable winners in all-unseeded meetings were Andrey Rublev taking out veteran Lu Yen-Hsun in four, Steve Johnson who will next face Wawrinka, Brit Daniel Evans continuing his hot streak, Ryan Harrison dismissing Nicolas Mahut in straights, and Aussie 17-year-old Alex De Minaur outlasting Gerald Melzer in five sets after losing the first and fending off a match point later in the contest.

“Words can’t describe how I’m feeling right now,” the Aussie teen said. “Definitely the happiest moment of my life. I was struggling a fair bit. At the start of the fifth, I was also feeling it. But I thought it was really important to just push through and finally get the win.”

Rublev will next meet Murray.

“I know a little bit about him,” Murray said. “I never hit with him or played against him, but I’ve seen him play before and he goes for it. He doesn’t hold back. You know, he hits a big ball. Clean ball-striker.”

Matches to look for on Tuesday in Melbourne are (9) Rafael Nadal vs. Florian Mayer, (2) Novak Djokovic vs. Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, (3) Milos Raonic vs. the net-rushing Dustin Brown, (11) David Goffin vs. the towering former Wimbledon juniors champ (Q) Reily Opelka, former No. 2 Tommy Haas vs. Benoit Paire, Fabio Fognini vs. (28) Feliciano Lopez, and (25) Gilles Simon vs. the hard-hitting (WC) Michael Mmoh.

If you’re up for some shotmaking, check out Alexandr Dolgopolov vs. Borna Coric, and if you want to turn the clock back 10 years, then tune in to Dmitry Tursunov vs. Radek “The Worm” Stepanek.


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27 Comments for Wawrinka, Nishikori, Cilic Escape with Wins on Day 1 at Australian Open

Margot Says:

Lets Go Andy. Lets Go 👏👍🙆😍


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Some big names staying long hours on the court in the heat. I’d like to see that continue- I like the endurance aspect of the grand slam fortnights.


J.S. Says:

Vagabond,
It was everyone today. Most matches could’ve gone either way, so shocking!!
Hoping Rafa doesn’t face that tomorrow.

Love the endurance too but so surprised to see in 1st round against the “big” boys.


Okiegal Says:

@Margot……love your emojis!! You got it going on, girl!!


Margot Says:

Just you Okiegal: 🙋


Ronn Says:

The article says that Murray cruised and I disagree. He looked really shaky out there and I see that he’s returned to using that little girly 2nd serve of his. He’s ripe for the picking as far as I’m concerned.


AndyMira Says:

@Ronn…Awww!C’mon man!It’s only 1st round!How can you say “he’s ripe for the picking”?…Maybe he still not used to the hot condition,courts etc,etc..stan also struggled yesterday Ronn..


rognadfan Says:

“Ripe for the picking”, Murray’s 2nd serve sure used to be. Though it improved a bit in the last year, he still seems to have that tendency around.
But I like AndyMira’s arguments as well, it’s just the first round.
I’ll give him the benefit of doubt. :).


AndyMira Says:

Hehehe..Thanks rognadfan..besides,he’s no 1 as well..i think that’s count for something..


RZ Says:

Phew Goffin survived. Had he lost I would have had no hope of moving out of last place in the bracket.


RZ Says:

I wish the organizers hadn’t scheduled Haas vs Paire so late in the day. Not too many opportunities left to watch Tommy play but I will be fast asleep during what could be his last Aussie Open match.


AndyMira Says:

hey RZ…why the Bracket is still not update all the match that were already played today?


Van Persie Says:

RZ,

feel the same about Sascha Zverev. Have picked him as semi finalist. lol


Margot Says:

Go Andy, Go Jo, Go Dan, Go Heather, Go Kyle 👍
Go away derdowrongron 👎


Van Persie Says:

A shame that I cannot watch Djoko now…
According to the score board, he should be on fire.;)

Nole idemooo!


Willow Says:

Dasco looks sluggish, and is missing so much, its not really a contest, pretty boring im afraid, im such Novak fans wont care though, switched over to watch Grigor match ….


Van Persie Says:

“Novak fans wont care though”

They really don’t ;) hehe

Nole idemooo!


Danica Says:

This was hella weird match. Here and there, some phenomenal points, some crazy angles from both, but the general impression is that it was utterly nothing to write home about.

Meanwhile, Karlovic and Zeballos are still playing a match that started sometime in the last century, or possibly earlier. No end in sight either. 20:20 in fifth set. Hope they’ll not repeat a Isner-Mahut ordeal :)

Too late for me, going to bed now ;)
Good morning to Europe!


J.S. Says:

DANICA
HAHA “sometime in the last century” so true!
The commentators on Eurosport said they will both have their “DO NOT DISTURB” hanger for a couple days. It’s like the twilight zone!!


Danica Says:

Yes, from what I read, 5 hours and 15 minutes. Karlovic set another mark serving 75 aces to his previous best of 61. (Isner and Mahut still leading the all time list with over 100 each per match – that crazy Wimbledone one :)) ). Ivo Karlovic is 37, I wonder if he can recover for his second round match?


RZ Says:

@AM – I don’t know how quickly they update the bracket but it’s probably not immediate. The emails announcing the standings are usually slow to come in, though I did get the one about the first round being complete so the bracket should be updated now. Van Persie is still in first place. My picks did much better yesterday and I moved up to the middle of the pack.


RZ Says:

BTW AM, what is your name on the ATP bracket?


AndyMira Says:

@RZ…If u keep looking,u’ll know my moniker..it’s already ‘famous’ on here..Aooooo!!….Besides,i’m a little bit shy to reveal my ranking….arghh!bad!!he he he…


jalep Says:

AM
I cannot make out who you are in the tx bracket — very sneaky of you :D


AndyMira Says:

@J…OBVIOUSLY I AM A HOLLOW WOMEN!You can’t see my moniker!!..Ho ho ho ho…


Willow Says:

Super happy about Dan Evans beating yucky Cilic, only sad ive missed all todays tennis ….

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