Djokovic Dominant Start At Australian Open, Shapovalov Outlasts Sinner; Nadal Tests Back
by Staff | February 8th, 2021, 2:06 pm

The Australian Open got off to a rousing start Monday in Melbourne.

Two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic rolled Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 in his opener. The Serb is now 14-0 against Chardy, 33-0 in sets.

“It felt great,” said Djokovic. “I started the match really well. Broke his serve and, pretty much flawless match, especially on my service games. I was very dominant. I went very quickly through my service games. I think every shot that I executed tonight was really good and on a high level. I’m very pleased with the way I opened up the Australian Open.

“I felt really relaxed and comfortable on the court tonight, so I could allow myself to try out some things and come to net. But I thought I was very solid and didn’t allow him to have time to try to do something with his forehand.”

Former champion Stan Wawrinka also cruised into the second round. He stayed perfect in Australian Open openers with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over Pedro Sousa.

Alexander Zverev got off to a rocky start before getting into gear with a win over Miron Giron 6-7(8), 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-2.

“He played incredibly well and played really well on the big stage against a Top 10 player,” said Zverev who made the US Open finals. “He had me on the ropes and the second set could have gone either way. I didn’t want to go two sets down. I am happy to get through and in the end I played better. The first round of a Slam is never easy.”

Dominic Thiem toughed out a first set then cruised past Mikael Kukushkin 7-6(2), 6-2, 6-3.

“He played well,” said Thiem. “The first set was very, very close. One set point… and that was the key point. I needed some time to get used to the fast and quick conditions, but in general it was a great first round of a Grand Slam… It’s super nice that there is a crowd, and it was a nice atmosphere today. I definitely felt nerves because it was a long time until the Slam.”

Grigor Dimitrov, Pablo Carreno Busta, Americans Taylor Fritz, Reilly Opelka and Frances Tiafoe were also winners. Australian bad boys Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic were winners.

Gael Monfils suffered an emotional 5-set loss to Emil Ruusuvuori.

Canadians also had a huge days with Milos Raonic and Felix Auger-Aliassime advancing. And in the big night match, Denis Shapovalov outlasted teen Jannik Sinner in a thriller 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 snapping the Italian’s 10-match win streak.

“Matches like this are so much fun for me to play,” said Shapovalov told. “This is why I play the sport in front of fans like you guys, that are just so much fun for both guys. Win or lose, today is one of the matches that I am going to remember in my career, just because playing in one of these stadiums, the moment and the quality of tennis today, it was just so much fun to be out here.”

Said Sinner, “He served better than me today. There were some difficult points, especially in the first game of the fifth set. He returned good on some points and then he served quite well. There was not much difference between him and I.

“He deserved to win today.”

On Tuesday, Rafael Nadal will test his ailing back in his first match of 2021 as he takes on Serb Laslo Djere.

Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Matteo Berrettini and Stefanos Tsitsipas also open play.

Rod Laver Arena – 11:00 AM
KENIN, Sofia (USA) [4] vs. INGLIS, Maddison (AUS)
BOUZKOVA, Marie (CZE) vs. SVITOLINA, Elina (UKR) [5]
DJERE, Laslo (SRB) vs. NADAL, Rafael (ESP) [2]

7:00 PM
BARTY, Ashleigh (AUS) [1] vs. KOVINIC, Danka (MNE)
TSITSIPAS, Stefanos (GRE) [5] vs. SIMON, Gilles (FRA)

You Might Like:
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Sinner Scores Second ATP Title In All-Italian Final
Italians Making Push In Melbourne, Sinner Seeks Second Straight ATP Title
Nadal Hopes To Rebound In Barcelona; Tsitsipas, Rublev Could Meet In SF
Sinner A Winner In Sofia, Italian Beats Pospisil For First Career ATP Title

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5 Comments for Djokovic Dominant Start At Australian Open, Shapovalov Outlasts Sinner; Nadal Tests Back

Wog Boy Says:

What a match, I really felt for Sinner, that young man is the real deal, I like everything with him, his game, his personality.
He didn’t do favour to himself by playing 5 matches with over 10 hours of hard fought tennis until day prior Shapovalov match, his last match was on Sunday (over 2 hours), in the fifth set against Shapovalov it was obvious that Sinner was hurting, he was gassed out.
If only he was seeded for this AO:(
Keep up good work young man!

Emilia Says:

Hi, Wog boy,

Don’t you root for Novak anymore?

Wog Boy Says:

Hi Emilia,

Where did you get that from?
I certainly do, otherwise I wouldn’t be coming to Melbourne and risking going two weeks mandatory quarantine (on my own expense which is $3K) on my return to Sydney if something goes wrong with this virus in communist Victoria (Melbourne).
Actually I am going today to watch Nole against Tiafoe, also Andreescu and our girl Nina which I feel sorry for since Serena is going to maul her:(

Just because you like some other player too doesn’t mean necessarily that you abandoned your favourite and Sinner is very likeable person as a tennis player and as a character, particularly coming from Italy, country that I love….though he is not quite Italian😉

BTW, you have beautiful name, I was about to name my youngest Emilija, but opted not to since I had girlfriend with that name and wouldn’t be nice if my wife found out why I named her, just to find out later that my sister already dobbed me in about my previous relationships and that my wife wouldn’t mind name “Emilija” since she loves it too, go figure 😂

Emilia Says:

Hi Wog Boy,

I certainly got it wrong but I think I read somewhere you said Nole wasn’t in the best form mentioning Them or so.
Of course we may like other players too. I do like Federer for that matter and I agree Sinner is a nice chap and very likely a coming star. How interesting!! I too love Italy including South Tirol where I have been dozens of times and where Sinner comes from! La Bella Italia!
That’s why I like to write my name EMILIA while actually it is EMILIJA (guess why)! THANK YOU FOR THE CONPLIMENT — YOU MADE MY DAY!!

Lucky you that you can see 😉 so many matches on the spot and that it is summer time!!
I am sure you enjoyed Nole’s 26 aces – quite a novelty for him.


Wog Boy Says:

Emilija, my pleasure.

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