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Rediff.com  » Sports » Aus Open Pix: Federer, Djokovic, Sharapova reach 2nd round, Raonic, Kvitova exit

Aus Open Pix: Federer, Djokovic, Sharapova reach 2nd round, Raonic, Kvitova exit

Last updated on: January 16, 2018 16:12 IST

IMAGES of the all the action from Day 2 of the Australian Open played at Melbourne Park on Tuesday

Roger Federer

IMAGE: Roger Federer plays a forehand in his first round match against Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia. Photographs: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Defending champion Roger Federer got quickly into his majestic stride with a straight-sets win over Slovenian Aljaz Bedene in his opening match at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

 

The 36-year-old Swiss turned the evening clash on Rod Laver Arena into an exhibition as he breezed past Bedene with consummate ease 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.

A single break in each set was enough for Federer who looked in total control from beginning to end.

The world number two, bidding for a 20th Grand Slam title after claiming his 18th last year and 19th at Wimbledon, broke Bedene's serve in the fourth game of the first set in which he conceded only three points on his serve.

Federer pounced immediately at the start of the second to gain another break and cantered through the rest of the match against a player who he had never played before.

One member of the sell-out crowd yelled "Give him a chance Rog" late on but the Swiss was not listening and finished the match on Bedene's serve when his opponent netted a backhand.

Novak Djokovic

IMAGE: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates winning his first round match against Donald Young of the United States on Day 2 of the Australian Open. Photographs: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic celebrated his long-awaited return to the Grand Slam stage with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 demolition of American Donald Young to reach the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

Wearing a compression sleeve on his serving arm, Djokovic showed no signs of the elbow trouble that cut short his 2017 season as he swung freely to amass 33 winners during the one hour and 51 minute rout at a sunbathed Margaret Court Arena.

Djokovic was playing his first match since he retired during his Wimbledon quarter-final, and despite landing barely half of his first serves with his newly modified action, it was an impressive performance from the six-times Melbourne Park champion.

Young dug in to save five match points when serving to stay in the match but the Serbian great made sure of it in the next game to set up a clash with either Frenchman Gael Monfils or qualifier Jaume Munar.

Sharapova enjoys winning return to Melbourne

Maria Sharapova

IMAGE:  Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates winning against Tatjana Maria of Germany. Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters.

Former champion Maria Sharapova enjoyed a winning return to the Australian Open as she wore down Germany's Tatjana Maria 6-1, 6-4 on Tuesday to take her place in the second round.

The 30-year-old Russian, who served a 15-month doping ban last year after testing positive for banned substance meldonium after her Melbourne defeat by Serena Williams in 2016, met some rugged resistance but had too much power for Maria.

There was plenty of support for 47th ranked five-times grand slam champion Sharapova with regular shouts of "C'mon Masha, we've missed you" around the Margaret Court Arena.

Her opponent was actually one place higher on the WTA rankings and the same age as Sharapova, but there was a vast difference in pedigree with the German never having gone beyond the third round in 22 previous Grand Slams.

Sharapova, who won the title 10 years ago, dropped serve to lose her only game in the opening set, although the rallies were often drawn out with Maria showing tenacious scrambling skills.

She was made to work harder in the second but sealed victory with an ace to book a second round against either 14th seed Anastasija Sevastova or Varvara Lepchenko.

"It's been a couple of years since I've been here so I wanted to enjoy the moment and it was really meaningful to be out here today," Sharapova said in a post-match interview.

"I've got shivers, I cherish these moments."

Halep survives date with Destanee to reach second round

Simona Halep

IMAGE: Simona Halep receives treatment after injuring her ankle in her first round match against Destanee Aiava of Australia. Photographs: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

World number one Simona Halep flirted with another early exit from the Australian Open before rallying to reach the second round with a 7-6(5), 6-1 victory over local teenager Destanee Aiava.

The Romanian was taken to the edge by the powerful 17-year-old Melburnian in a 73-minute first set and turned her ankle at the start of the second, but returned with the joint strapped up to claim what was ultimately a comfortable victory.

Scuttling around the Rod Laver Arena court and keeping Aiava moving as much as possible with her accurate shots, top seed Halep grew more assured as her opponent grew more flustered and secured the win when her opponent sent a forehand wide.

Halep, who has been knocked out in the first round in four of her last six visits to Melbourne Park but reached the quarter-finals in the other two, will next meet former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard.

Raonic slumps to early exit

Milos Raonic

IMAGE: Milos Raonic of Canada serves to Lukas Lacko of Slovakia. Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters.

Former world number three Milos Raonic was sent tumbling out of the Australian Open first round by Lukas Lacko, the Canadian's earliest Grand Slam exit since the 2011 French Open.

On the comeback trail after a 2017 season disrupted by injury, Raonic looked off the pace as he was picked apart 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6(4) by the 86th ranked Slovak on showcourt two.

Raonic had reached the last eight in his last three visits to Melbourne, making the semi-finals in 2016, and his ability to fire down a thunderous ace kept him in the contest until the fourth set tiebreak.

Two more aces, taking his match tally to 36, briefly gave 22nd seed Raonic a 4-3 lead but he was unable to match Lacko's accuracy and mobility and the Slovak progressed to meet Argentine Nicolas Kicker or local Jordan Thompson in round two.

Wawrinka happy to be back, but still feeling pain

Stanislas Wawrinka

IMAGE: Stanislas Wawrinka signs autographs after winning against Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania. Photographs: Toru Hanai/Reuters

Stanislas Wawrinka feels great to be back after his first-round victory at the Australian Open but is still experiencing pain in the left knee that required surgery last season.

The Swiss former champion, seeded ninth, beat Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(2) in his first competitive match for six months to set up a second-round clash with American Tennys Sandgren.

"Great to be back. It's great to win, for sure. Was a tough one in all aspects of the game," Wawrinka, who won the first of his three grand slams in Melbourne in 2014, said.

"I'm really happy to get through a match like that, to fight the way I did today, to win the match like this."

"For sure. I still have some pain. It depends the way I'm moving, how I push on it. But in general, it's going in the right direction. That's the best news."

Petkovic dumps Kvitova out of Australian Open after marathon

Andrea Petkovic

IMAGE: Germany’s Andrea Petkovic celebrates winning her first round match against Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic. Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova's return to the Australian Open a year after being attacked by an intruder at her home ended in disappointment with a marathon 6-3, 4-6, 10-8 first-round loss to German Andrea Petkovic.

A former quarter-finalist at Melbourne Park, Kvitova missed last year's event as she recovered from surgery to her left hand which was injured by a knife-wielding assailant weeks before the tournament.

Kvitova showed she was back to a level approaching her dominant best with a last-eight appearance at the US Open, but her clash with former top-10 player Petkovic ended in heartbreak after she double-faulted on match point when serving at 5-4 in the third set on Show Court Two.

Petkovic saved another match point with a forehand winner to level at 5-5 and fought back from another break down.

Serving to stay in the contest, 27th seed Kvitova suffered an attack of nerves, missing a straightforward volley before surrendering the match with her 10th double-fault and sixth of the set.

The crowd groaned in disappointment, while Petkovic roared in triumph and Czech Kvitova walked off to warm applause in the twilight.

"I just thought about not thinking and it worked," Petkovic said of holding on during the nervous finish.

Kerber eases into round two

Angelique Kerber

IMAGE: Angelique Kerber plays a forehand in her first round match against Anna-Lena Friedsam. Photographs: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Former world number one Angelique Kerber needed a little more than an hour to secure a second round spot, beating fellow German Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-0, 6-4.

Pliskova through to round two 

Karolina Pliskova

IMAGE: Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic plays a forehand in her first round match against Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay. Photographs: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Sixth seed Karolina Pliskova kept her hopes of lifting a maiden grand slam titles alive with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Paraguayan Veronica Cepede Royg in the first round.

"The first one is always the toughest for me... Hopefully I take it match-by-match and I think I'll have a good chance," Pliskova, who reached the quarter-finals in Melbourne last year, said after the match.

Aggressive Konta makes light work of Brengle

Johanna Konta

IMAGE: Johanna Konta of Britain celebrates winning her match against Madison Brengle of the US. Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters.

Johanna Konta skipped past Madison Brengle into the second round of the Australian Open, the Briton overpowering her American opponent 6-3, 6-1 in 66 minutes on Hisense Arena.

Australia-born Konta, who reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park two years ago, brushed off an early exit in her Sydney International title defence last week with an aggressive display that removed any doubts about her fitness.

The 26-year-old ninth seed hammered down eight aces and 37 winners, feasting on Brengle's powderpuff serve and converting five of eight break points over the brief contest.

"I am very happy with that match," said a smiling Konta, who will meet another American, Bernarda Pera, in the second round.

"I knew it would be tough, she gets a lot of balls back and makes her opponents work for it."

"So really happy I was able to stick to the style of play I wanted."

Bouchard ends losing streak

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard ended a six-match losing run on the tour by beating France's Oceane Dodin 6-3, 7-6(5).

Verdasco powers past Bautista Agut

Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, a semi-finalist in 2009, recorded 41 winners to upset 20th-seeded compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 7-5, 7-5.

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