Rafael Nadal opened his 2020 Australian Open in emphatic fashion hammering Hugo Dellien 6-2, 6-3, 6-0. The Spaniard, who went 12-1 in hard court Slams last year, is now just six wins from matching Roger Federer’s 20 Grand Slam total haul and winning a second Career Slam.
“It’s been a solid start. I think the third set was a great set. I think I played a very good level of tennis,” Nadal said. “The first two, I played with a little more caution.
“Then, of course, with an advantage in the score, I tried to play the way that I really believe I need to play if I want to have a positive result here.”
Daniil Medvedev dropped a set but battled past 2019 quarterfinalist Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Dominic Thiem kept a lock on Adrian Mannarino, beating the Frenchman for an 8th straight time 6-3, 7-5, 6-2. Thiem has added Thomas Muster to his camp.
”It’s only our third week together, but he’s an amazing addition to my team. He’s the greatest player in our country by far and an absolute legend in sports,” Thiem said. “He has so much knowledge about tennis, so much experience and he can help me a lot. I hope it’s going to pay off very soon.”
Nick Kyrgios thrilled the home folks with a 6-2, 7-6(3), 7-6(1) win over Italian Lorenzo Sonego.
“I wanted to put on a good performance. I knew it was going to be tough,” Kyrgios told the crowd. “This is one of my favorite courts in the world and I feel super comfortable here. I had great support from fans and I’m ready to go again. The ATP Cup was great preparation, I feel good but I’m not looking forward in the draw.”
Another Italian, Marco Cecchinato, was in action and didn’t fare much better against Alexander Zverev who took it in straights 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-3.
The young Canadians were bounced. A day after Denis Shapovalov fell, Felix Auger-Aliassime was stunned by qualifier Ernests Gulbis in four sets.
Former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga retired with a back injury to Alexei Popyrin. Tsonga won the first set but only managed three games in the next two, then retired.
2014 champ Stan Wawrinka earned a good 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4 win over Damir Dzumhur.
Also winners as the first round wrapped up were Milos Raonic, Gael Monfils, David Goffin, Diego Schwartzman Marin Cilic and Andrey Rublev.
And Fabio Fognini went to bed down two sets to Reilly Opelka, But when the match resumed today, it was Fognini coming all the way back to win it in a fifth set tiebreak.
“I was lucky that the rain came on the right time,” Fognini said. “Yesterday he was playing better than me. I only lost one break, and I was two sets down. These guys, they’re always tough to play but we have to.”
As the second round begins on Wednesday, Federer returns to meet Filip Krajinovic who had to spend five sets Tuesday to dismiss Quentin Halys. No he’ll have just over 24 hours to recover and face a fresh Federer.
Novak Djokovic resumes his title defense against Tatsuma Ito of Japan. Stefanos Tsitsipas and Grigor Dimitrov are also in action.
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