Articolo

Federer, Djokovic and Zverev among Australian Open first-round winners

16 gennaio 2018 13:37

Roger Federer kicked off his Australian Open title defence with a straight-sets win, while Novak Djokovic also enjoyed serene progress to the second round on Tuesday.

Facing Aljaz Bedene for the first time, Federer – who was interviewed on court by Hollywood A-lister Will Ferrell – proved too strong for the world number 51 as he set up a meeting with Jan-Lennard Struff.

Djokovic showed no rustiness in overcoming Donald Young on his return to action, with Stan Wawrinka also proving his fitness in a hard-fought triumph over Ricardas Berankis, while fellow seeded stars Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem and David Goffin also progressed.

There were some high-profile victims, however, as Milos Raonic and Roberto Bautista Agut both fell at the first hurdle.

STARS SHINE AT MELBOURNE PARK

Negotiating the early rounds of a grand slam can be a tricky affair for the seeds, but the vast majority of them managed it with some ease on day two.

Djokovic – seeded an unfamiliar 14th – helped to set the tone with a 6-1 6-2 6-4 victory over America's Young, before denying speculation of a potential Australian Open boycott next year over the distribution of money generated by grand slam events.

It was also a straightforward outing for Federer, who was compared by Anchorman actor Ferrell to a "silky gazelle".

The Swiss maestro is looking for a 20th grand slam success in Melbourne.

Zverev (4) and Thiem (5) got the job done in three sets – the latter smashing 48 winners, including a ridiculous shot through his legs, against Guido Pella – but seventh seed Goffin, a quarter-finalist last year, needed four to see off Matthias Bachinger.

The last match out on court in the men's draw saw 12th seed Juan Martin del Potro beat teenager Frances Tiafoe 6-3 6-4 6-3.

The two seeded departures saw Bautista Agut (20) lose 6-1 7-5 7-5 to compatriot Fernando Verdasco, while Raonic (22) was dumped out by Lukas Lacko despite winning the first set.

 

STAN CAN DELIVER

Wawrinka, the 2014 champion, marked his return from injury by downing Berankis 6-3 6-4 2-6 7-6 (7-2).

The 32-year-old, who reached the semi-finals in 2017, needed just shy of three hours to secure a match with Tennys Sandgren.

But Wawrinka was just pleased to be back on the court.

"It was a tough battle and I'm really happy to win my first match here after six months out," said the Swiss.

 

FOUR AUSSIES FALL

Home fans who were hoping for some male Australian success stories on Tuesday were left sorely disappointed.

Jordan Thompson was first of four to fall, going down in five sets to Nicolas Kicker, while Alexei Popyrin lost in four after a match involving a second-set tie-break that ended 16-14 to Tim Smyczek.

Wildcard entries Thanasi Kokkinakis and Alex de Minaur were also beaten, the latter losing to Tomas Berdych.

Ultime notizie

27 maggio 2018

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