Nadal, Sharapova advance at Aussie Open

Paola Ditto
Gennaio 14, 2019

Rafale Nadal during the 2019 Australian Open.

"It was good. It is normal that beginnings are tough, but every day helps and every day makes me feel better, makes me feel more confident", said Nadal, who limped out of both the Australian and US Opens previous year. He hasn't missed a beat.

Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova are two of the greats of the game - but both players will step onto Rod Laver Arena on Monday with an air of uncertainty surrounding them.

The 17-time major victor hasn't played since retiring from his semifinal at the U.S. Open because of a knee injury, and then had surgery on his right ankle in November.

"I played against a super-aggressive player. It's very special to be back".

Sharapova pounced on the Briton's weak second serve to repeatedly break her opponent, bringing up the first set bagel after 31 minutes. He returned the favor very quickly, though, to seal his spot in the second round.

Nadal has only lost twice in the first round at Grand Slams - to Steve Darcis at 2013 Wimbledon, and to Fernando Verdasco here in 2016 - and is aiming to be the first man in the Open era two win all four majors at least twice.

He starts off against Denis Istomin on Rod Laver Arena.

In her 15th trip to Melbourne Park and her 55th Grand Slam tournament, she's acutely aware of the toll that the sun and long early matches can have on a player's title ambitions, so she gets straight to business.

Sharapova was far from ideal against Dart, committing three double faults and eight unforced errors, but was never threatened by the 22-year-old Londoner.

"When I get broken was not because of the serve", said the second seed who dished up just a single double fault.

Denmark's Wozniacki broke through for her first Slam title in Melbourne previous year, beating Simona Halep in the final, and said she was relishing defending a major for the first time.

Wild Card Duckworth pulled off some lovely shots - particularly in the final few games to entertain the crowd - but despite breaking the 17-time Grand Slam champion at 5-3 down in the final set, he could not make it count. "I enjoy seeing the effort that I'm able to put in, and I think that hard work will always ultimately come to the surface". "I saw him beginning of December, and he says it's a day-by-day pain management situation".

Britain's Katie Boulter, meanwhile, created a slice of history by becoming the first woman to win in a third set tiebreak -- a new rule introduced to the Open this year. She went on to beat Russia's Ekaterina Makarova 6-0, 4-6, 7-6 (10/6).

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE