Cyprus Mail
Australian OpenSportTennis

Federer and Sharapova shine after seeds scattered (updated)

Down but not out. Czech Republic's Lucie Hradecka rproduced the first upset at the Australian Open by defeating Ana Ivanovic

By Ian Ransom

ROGER Federer and Maria Sharapova glittered under the Rod Laver Arena lights on Monday, restoring order at the Australian Open after eight women’s seeds crashed out in the afternoon sun on a manic opening day.

The evergreen Federer strolled into the second round with a classy 6-4 6-2 7-5 win over Taiwan’s Lu Yen-Hsun before fellow second seed Sharapova ruined Croatian qualifier Petra Martic’s 24th birthday with a 6-4 6-1 victory.

Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray also enjoyed comfortable wins as three of the men’s ‘Big Four’ shook out the early-season rust.

Although the retired Li Na is not defending her singles title, the glowing Chinese stole the spotlight from the players when she announced she was expecting her first child with husband and former coach Jiang Shan.
“I think Dennis (Jiang) is doing a good job. He just made one ace,” said the 32-year-old crowd favourite on the Rod Laver Arena, sparking cheers from the terraces.

The hole left by the twice grand slam champion’s absence is begging to be filled and a rejuvenated Sharapova, dressed to kill in a smart red outfit, looked the part in a controlled display against the outgunned Martic.

Federer joined Sharapova in the winners’ circle at the Brisbane International this month and, on his coach Stefan Edberg’s 49th birthday, the Swiss notched his 1,001st tour win.

“Winning in the first round, it’s always a bit of a relief. I thought I played good,” the 33-year-old told reporters after dashing around the court like a frantic teenager against the 47th-ranked Lu.

While seventh seed Eugenie Bouchard advanced with a straight-sets victory over 98th-ranked German Anna-Lena Friedsam, half of the 16 women’s seeds in action were swept away before the sun had set on a glorious day.

Fifth seed Ana Ivanovic was the highest-profile casualty, the former world number one falling in three sets to doubles specialist Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic.

Ninth-seeded German Angelique Kerber blamed a “bad day” at the office after being dumped out by Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu in three topsy-turvy sets.
Lucie Safarova (16), Carla Suarez Navarro (17) and twice grand slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova (27) were also among the eight sent packing.

It was steadier going on the men’s side where an undercooked Nadal felt the confidence flooding back after thrashing Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny.
Coming back after a long layoff from injury and illness, Nadal gloomily ruled himself out of title contention before the event but the Spaniard eased quickly into the grand slam groove with a 6-3 6-2 6-2 win.
“This first match here was tough mentally for me,” the 2009 champion said on centre court, resplendent in a pink shirt and a fluorescent yellow headband.
“I hope this match will give me confidence as I play the next round.”

Sixth seed Murray, bidding for a maiden Australian Open title after three trips to the final, opened up with a 6-3 6-4 7-6 (3) win over Indian qualifier Yuki Bhambri, occasionally berating himself but pleased overall with his display at the refurbished Margaret Court Arena.
“The whole match he made it very difficult, he played very aggressively,” Murray said of Bhambri, the lowest-ranked player in the draw at 317.
“He shouldn’t be ranked 300 in the world.”

Romania’s Simona Halep, seeded third and fancied to break through for a maiden grand slam title this year, had few worries in a 6-3 6-2 rout of Italian Karin Knapp.

Men’s seventh seed Tomas Berdych went through without fuss while number 10 Grigor Dimitrov, tipped to rock the tennis establishment after a breakout 2014 season, showed ominous form with a 6-2 6-3 6-2 victory over German Dustin Brown.

Results from the Australian Open Men’s Singles Round 1 matches on Monday
Nick Kyrgios (Australia) beat Federico Delbonis (Argentina) 7-6(2) 3-6 6-3 6-7(5) 6-3
Thanasi Kokkinakis (Australia) beat 11-Ernests Gulbis (Latvia) 5-7 6-0 1-6 7-6(2) 8-6
Malek Jaziri (Tunisia) beat Mikhail Kukushkin (Kazakhstan) 6-2 6-3 2-6 7-6(3)
Simone Bolelli (Italy) beat Juan Monaco (Argentina) 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-1
2-Roger Federer (Switzerland) beat Lu Yen-Hsun (Taiwan) 6-4 6-2 7-5
23-Ivo Karlovic (Croatia) beat Ruben Bemelmans (Belgium) 6-4 6-2 6-4
Viktor Troicki (Serbia) beat Jiri Vesely (Czech Republic) 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-3
Dudi Sela (Israel) beat Jan-Lennard Struff (Germany) 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-3 7-5
Samuel Groth (Australia) beat Filip Krajinovic (Serbia) 6-3 7-6(4) 6-4
Jurgen Melzer (Austria) beat Victor Estrella (Dominican Republic) 6-1 6-4 6-2
28-Lukas Rosol (Czech Republic) beat Kenny De Schepper (France) 4-6 6-2 6-7(4) 6-3 6-4
22-Philipp Kohlschreiber (Germany) beat Paul-Henri Mathieu (France) 6-2 6-2 6-1
Bernard Tomic (Australia) beat Tobias Kamke (Germany) 7-5 6-7(1) 6-3 6-2
26-Leonardo Mayer (Argentina) beat John Millman (Australia) 6-3 6-3 6-2
Marcos Baghdatis (Cyprus) beat Teymuraz Gabashvili (Russia) 6-2 6-7(5) 3-6 6-4 6-4
Tim Smyczek (U.S.) beat Luke Saville (Australia) 7-6(2) 7-5 6-4
Edouard Roger-Vasselin (France) beat 15-Tommy Robredo (Spain) 2-3 (Robredo retired)
James Duckworth (Australia) beat Blaz Kavcic (Slovenia) 6-2 5-7 7-6(7) 3-6 6-2
3-Rafa Nadal (Spain) beat Mikhail Youzhny (Russia) 6-3 6-2 6-2
7-Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) beat Alejandro Falla (Colombia) 6-3 7-6(1) 6-3
20-David Goffin (Belgium) beat Michael Russell (U.S.) 6-3 6-3 5-7 6-0
6-Andy Murray (Britain) beat Yuki Bhambri (India) 6-3 6-4 7-6(3)
24-Richard Gasquet (France) beat Carlos Berlocq (Argentina) 6-1 6-3 6-1
14-Kevin Anderson (South Africa) beat Diego Schwartzman (Argentina) 7-6(5) 7-5 5-7 6-4
Marinko Matosevic (Australia) beat Alexander Kudryavtsev (Russia) 6-4 6-7(5) 4-6 7-5 6-3
Lukas Lacko (Slovakia) beat Maximo Gonzalez (Argentina) 4-6 6-2 7-5 6-7(4) 6-1
Ricardas Berankis (Lithuania) beat Igor Sijsling (Netherlands) 2-6 6-4 7-6(2) 6-7(6) 6-4
Andreas Seppi (Italy) beat Denis Istomin (Uzbekistan) 5-7 6-3 2-6 6-1 6-4
29-Jeremy Chardy (France) beat Borna Coric (Croatia) 3-6 6-4 7-5 6-4
Joao Sousa (Portugal) beat Jordan Thompson (Australia) 6-4 7-6(5) 6-4
32-Martin Klizan (Slovakia) beat Tatsuma Ito (Japan) 7-6(6) 6-2 6-4
10-Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria) beat Dustin Brown (Germany) 6-2 6-3 6-2

Results from the Australian Open Women’s Singles Round 1 matches on Monday
2-Maria Sharapova (Russia) beat Petra Martic (Croatia) 6-4 6-1
Kiki Bertens (Netherlands) beat Daria Gavrilova (Australia) 7-6(8) 5-7 6-2
7-Eugenie Bouchard (Canada) beat Anna-Lena Friedsam (Germany) 6-2 6-4
Carina Witthoeft (Germany) beat 17-Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) 6-3 6-1
Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan) beat 16-Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) 6-4 2-6 8-6
Alexandra Panova (Russia) beat Sorana Cirstea (Romania) 7-5 6-0
Silvia Soler Espinosa (Spain) beat Annika Beck (Germany) 7-5 6-4
Roberta Vinci (Italy) beat Bojana Jovanovski (Serbia) 7-5 6-1
Christina Mchale (U.S.) beat Stephanie Foretz (France) 6-4 1-6 12-10
10-Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) beat An-Sophie Mestach (Belgium) 6-2 6-2
31-Zarina Diyas (Kazakhstan) beat Urszula Radwanska (Poland) 3-6 6-4 6-2
14-Sara Errani (Italy) beat Grace Min (U.S.) 6-1 6-0
Irina Begu (Romania) beat 9-Angelique Kerber (Germany) 6-4 0-6 6-1
Monica Puig (Puerto Rico) beat Arina Rodionova (Australia) 6-0 6-3
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (U.S.) beat Duan Yingying (China) 6-4 3-6 6-3
Yanina Wickmayer (Belgium) beat 23-Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia) 4-6 6-3 6-3
Katerina Siniakova (Czech Republic) beat Elena Vesnina (Russia) 6-2 7-5
Oceane Dodin (France) beat Alison Riske (U.S.) 7-6(5) 3-6 6-3
Stefanie Voegele (Switzerland) beat Pauline Parmentier (France) 6-1 3-6 6-2
Polona Hercog (Slovenia) beat Wang Qiang (China) 3-6 6-3 6-2
22-Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) beat Evgeniya Rodina (Russia) 7-5 6-1
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (Slovakia) beat Chanelle Scheepers (South Africa) 6-4 4-6 6-2
Kristina Mladenovic (France) beat 28-Sabine Lisicki (Germany) 4-6 6-4 6-2
Lucie Hradecka (Czech Republic) beat 5-Ana Ivanovic (Serbia) 1-6 6-3 6-2
Caroline Garcia (France) beat 27-Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia) 6-4 6-2
21-Peng Shuai (China) beat Tatjana Maria (Germany) 6-4 7-5
Klara Koukalova (Czech Republic) beat Storm Sanders (Australia) 7-5 6-4
Jarmila Gajdosova (Australia) beat Alexandra Dulgheru (Romania) 6-3 6-4
3-Simona Halep (Romania) beat Karin Knapp (Italy) 6-3 6-2
Lara Arruabarrena Vecino (Spain) beat Renata Voracova (Czech Republic) 6-1 6-2
Magdalena Rybarikova (Slovakia) beat Ana Konjuh (Croatia) 6-4 6-4
Julia Goerges (Germany) beat 32-Belinda Bencic (Switzerland) 6-2 6-1

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