Australian Open Round Up: Day One – Big Names All Through
World number one Novak Djokovic, has safely progressed through to round two of the Australian Open with a straight sets win over Paul-Henri Mathieu.
Defending champion Djokovic, who is looking to become the first man in the Open era to win the Grand Slam in three successive attempts, comfortably defeated his French opponent in straight sets 6-2 6-4 7-5.
Joining Djokovic into the next round, is world number four David Ferrer. The 30-year-old Spaniard, who is seeded to meet Djokovic in the semi-finals, also won in straight sets as he beat Belgian Olivier Rochus 6-3 6-4 6-2.
The tie of first round though saw eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic face home-favourite Lleyton Hewitt. In what many thought could be a potential upset, including ourselves, this proved otherwise – much to the disappointment of the Australian public. In the final game of the evening, and at a packed Rod Laver Arena, Tipsarevic eventually came through in straight sets 6-7 5-7 3-6 – after three hours of high-quality tennis.
Over on the women’s side of the draw, second seed and 2008 winner, Maria Sharapova beat her fellow Russian counterpart Olga Puchkova emphatically to ‘double-bagel’ her 6-0 6-0 in just 55 minutes of play.
Australia’s hope for a winner on the female side of the draw continues as ninth seed Sam Stosur defeated Kai-Chen Chang of Taiwan 7-6 (7-3) 6-3. The 28-year-old Stosur had previously exited her home Slam at the first round in the previous five years. However, her compatriot, Casey Deliquena’s adventure is over, as she lost to fellow non-seed Madison Keys of America 4-6 6-7.
Elsewhere seven-time Grand Slam champion, Venus Williams also won her opening tie. The 25th seed thrashed Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 6-1 6-0.
From a British perspective, 20-year-old Heather Watson was the sole representative who played on day one at Melbourne Park. Trailing at set and a break, the Guernsey-born star came out reinvigorated, following a medical time-out for cramp, to overcome Romania’s Alexandra Cadantu 2-6 6-3 6-2.
Watson who is ranked 50th in the world, will now play Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan in the second round, after she beat Germany’s 32nd seed Mona Barthel.
The rest of the Brits, Andy Murray, Jamie Baker and Laura Robson, all play on Tuesday.
Stats of the Day:
Nicolas Almagro leads the serving charts with 34 aces in his five-set win over Steve Johnson.
Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz hit the fastest serve of day one at 141.7mph (228kph)
American Coco Vandeweghe topped the women’s charts at 119.3mph (196kph)
Edouard Roger-Vasselin’s win over Ruben Bemelmans was the longest match of the day at 4hrs 25mins.
Novak Djokovic (Ser)  beat Paul-Henri Mathieu (Fra) 6-2 6-4 7-5
David Ferrer (Spa)  beat Olivier Rochus (Bel) 6-3 6-4 6-2
Janko Tipsarevic (Ser)  beat Lleyton Hewitt (Aus) 6-7 5-7 3-6
Fernando Verdasco (Spa)  beat David Goffin (Bel) 6-3 3-6 4-6 6-3 6-4
Mikhail Youzhny (Rus)  bt Matthew Ebden (Aus) 4-6 6-7 (0-7) 6-2 7-6 (7-4) 6-3
Marcos Baghdatis (Cyp)  beat Albert Ramos (Spa) 6-7 (0-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 3-6 6-3
Maria Sharapova (Rus)  beat Olga Puchkova (Rus) 6-0 6-0
Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol)  beat Bojana Bobusic (Aus) 7-5 6-0
Li Na (Chn)  beat Sesil Karatantcheva (Kaz) 6-1 6-3
Samantha Stosur (Aus)  beat Kai-Chen Chang (Tpe) 7-6 (7-3) 6-3
Ana Ivanovic (Ser)  beat Melinda Czink (Hun) 6-2 6-1
Dominika Cibulkova (Svk)  beat Ashleigh Barty (Aus) 3-6 6-0 6-1
Venus Williams (US)  beat Galina Voskoboeva (Kaz) 6-1 6-0
Madison Keys (US) beat Casey Dellacqua (Aus) 4-6 6-7
Heather Watson (GB) beat Alexandra Cadantu (Rom) 2-6 6-3 6-2
By Luke Augustus