Nadal Rolls In Australian Opener; Federer, Djokovic Return
by Staff | January 21st, 2020, 9:01 am

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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4 Comments for Nadal Rolls In Australian Opener; Federer, Djokovic Return

RZ Says:

Here are some of the statistics from the bracket.
– 10 entries altogether (though this could include duplicates)
– All 10 of us chose Djokovic and Medvedev to make the semifinals. No shocker that the next most popular semifinal picks were Nadal and Federer with 8. Other semifinalist picks are Thiem, Coric, and Shapovalov
– Nadal was the most popular pick for getting to the final (all 8 folks who picked him to get the semis chose him to get to the final too), followed by Djokovic (7 picks), then Federer (3). Thiem and Medvedev were chosen once each.
– The winners picked were a Big 3 special: Djokovic was chosen 6 times, Nadal 3 times, and Federer once.

Andy Mira Says:

Thanks RZ for the info!…AO is very easy to pick a winner imo bcoz on paper it most certainly go to Novak…i think based on his current form,he once again invincible here…

But his qf possibly against Tsitsi/RBA,sf against Fed..and Rafa/Thiem qf.. Rafa/Meddy in semis promised one hell of a encounter there!(if all those happened that is!haha)..Can’t wait!!

Wog Boy Says:

How on earth and on what ground Ito was given WC for AO unless Australia expects some favours in return from Japanese during Olympic games?

Wog Boy Says:

My apologies to Tennis Australia, there is something called Asia-Pacific Wildcard Playoff and it looks like Ito won it (there is one American and one Australian play off too), 1 is given to France and remaining 4 WCs are given by AO discretion.

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