Top Seed Nadal Eases Through to Second Round

Australian Open Unseeded Sharapova returns after 2016 to a draw headed by Halep

"It's the first time I am here without playing an official match in my career", he said.

Tougher tests will unquestionably follow, but Nadal was delighted to be back after a sensational 2017 campaign, where he won the French Open and US Open before bringing the curtain down early due to injury.

He is yet to play a proper match in 2018.

Men's fourth seed Alexander Zverev enjoyed a straight-sets victory over Thomas Fabbiano 6-1 7-6 (5) 7-5, to make the second round of the Australian Open.

Second-seeded Federer and No 14-seeded Djokovic have almost traded places.

Roger Federer says a 36-year-old should not really be considered a favorite for the Australian Open, although when the man in question is himself, no one was taking him seriously.

As the 2018 edition of the Australian Open begins, we give you some interesting and fun facts that you may have not heard of regarding the tennis tournament. She reached the last eight in both of her Australian Open appearances to date, but slumped out of the Sydney International in the first round this week. "So that's the good news". Kei Nishikori also withdrew. "It was an obvious part of my game that I had to address because of my elbow issues", the Serbian said on Saturday, reports Xinhua news agency.

Calf and wrist problems kept the tall Canadian out of action since last October. 'I love the tennis and I love the competition in general. That's most important thing for me now.

The volatile 17th seed was on his best behaviour and let his racket do the talking as he treated his fans in the Hisense Arena to an impressive opening salvo.

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Djokovic's situation is akin to that of Federer in 2017, when he also came back from a lengthy spell on the sidelines but rediscovered his form to defeat Nadal in the final of the Australian Open, en route to ending the year with 19 Grand Slams.

"If I did not feel ready I would not be here".

"I'm just excited to be in Melbourne". "But I feel good".

The Australian world No 17, on the receiving end of a code violation for swearing at a spectator who he felt was making too much noise, continued his unbeaten start to the season, having won the Brisbane title, and will next meet Viktor Troicki, after the Serbian defeated Australian Alex Bolt 6-7 (2) 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-4.

Williams- a finalist in Melbourne last year - lost 6-3 7-5 to world number 78 Belinda Bencic.

"I had a great week in Brisbane".

In another men's singles, Australia's Nick Kyrgios thrashed Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to storm into the second round.

"I'll be over the moon if I can play", he said.

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