The Australian Open got off to a strong start with top seed Rafael Nadal of Spain getting his title defense off to a winning start with a less than cruising 7-5 2-6 6-4 6-1 victory over Britain’s Jack Draper.
Nadal, who is searching for a third Australian Open title, will now face American Mackenzie McDonald, who defeated compatriot Brandon Nakashima in five sets. Read more: How to watch the Australian Open 2023 in USA?
In the women’s draw, world number one and top seed Iga Swiatek easily defeated unseeded Jule Niemeier 6-4 7-5 in just two hours to advance to the second round. Swiatek had previously defeated Niemeier in the U.S. Open fourth round last year.
CONTINUED MEN’S AUSTRALINA OPEN RESULTS
The 11th seed Cameron Norrie of Britain breezed into the second round after defeating French wildcard Luca Van Assche 7-6(3) 6-0 6-3 at the Kia Arena.
However, 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka was eliminated after losing to Alex Molcan in a five-set match that lasted nearly 4-1/2 hours.
In unfortunate news, home favorite Nick Kyrgios withdrew from the tournament due to a knee injury. He was set to play Roman Safiullin in the first round and will be replaced by lucky loser Denis Kudla, who initially fell in the qualiers last week.
American wildcard Christopher Eubanks knocked out Adelaide 2 winner Kwon Soon-woo in five sets.
Also, in the men’s draw, last year’s quarter-finalist Denis Shapovalov and Adelaide finalist Sebastian Korda both advanced after winning four-set matches against Dusan Lajovic and Cristian Garin respectively.
Polish 10th seed Hubert Hurkacz also moved on after defeating Spain’s Pedro Martinez 7-1(1) 6-2 6-2 and will look to reach the third round at a hard-court major for the first time.
Third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas also moved on to the second round after defeating France’s Quentin Halys 6-3 6-4 7-6(6) in two hours at Margaret Court Arena.
MORE WOMEN’S HIGHLIGHTED RESULTS
Last year’s runner-up Danielle Collins secured a 7-5 5-7 6-4 victory over Anna Kalinskaya and Barbora Krejcikova, quarter-finalist in 2022, defeated fellow Czech Sara Bejlek 6-3 6-1. Also moving on was Petra Kvitova, the 2019 runner-up, who began her campaign with a 7-6(3) 6-2 win over Alison Van Uytvanck.
Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina defeated Hobart finalist Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-2 6-4, while former champion Victoria Azarenka battled past 2020 winner Sofia Kenin 6-4 7-6(3) to move on in the draw.
Great Britain’s Emma Raducanu, the 2021 US Open champion, beat Tamara Korpatsch 6-3 6-2 to set up a second-round match against American rising star Coco Gauff, who secured a place in the next round of the draw with a 6-1 6-4 triumph over Katerina Siniakova.