The Australian Open Tennis Championship started on Sunday and as ever in Melbourne under swelteringly hot conditions although the seats with mini marquee’s over the top of the players while they have a break always brings a smile to many people’s faces and a little respite for the players between games.
Andy Murray was here under the new guise of Sir Andy Murray, Nadal was back after a lengthy (to put it mildly) series of injuries. Selena and Venus were here almost like the Andrews Sisters, will they ever retire?
So what happened well John Isner the 19th seed got through to the second round with only mild concerns winning in four sets, Del Bonis (included here because of his silly name) lost to American Johnson, Ramos-Vinolas the 26th seed was one of the first seeds to pack their bags and visit the bars after a five set defeat by Lacko.
Dan Evans the young pretender for the throne of Andy Murray completed a fairly comprehensive rout over the Argentinian Bagnis 7-6, 6-3, 6-1 and it has to be admitted he looked good, very good for an ever improving Brit.
Bublik (great name) put out French 16th seed Pouille while 22nd sees Cuevas was demolished, demoralized and devastated over a straight sets defeat to Schwartzman.
Soeda the Japanese player had the fizz taken out of him with a 3 sets to love defeat against Jaziri British player Bedene who I have to say I’d never heard lost to Estralla Burgos by 3 sets to one but took the third 6-0 at least.
Towering Tsonga the man you never want to pick on in a crowded bar and ranked only 12th here beat wily Brazilian Monteiro in four sets.
Seventh seed Cilic struggled in a five set victory over a stubborn Janowicz while talking of stubborn Nick Kyrgios the talented but somewhat demented at times home boy in Australia made mince meat out of Elias 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. When this boy concentrates on his tennis rather than his vulgar comments, general bad attitude and racket throwing the guy is phenomenal.
Nishikori the diminutive Japanese player had a few problems against Kuznetsov but came through by 3 sets to 2 but it was hard work. Even harder work came Stan Wawrinka’s way as he held out for a 3-2 set victory over Klizan but the Swiss wonder was up against the wall throughout and came through eventually 6-4 in the final set. The number 4 seed lost the 1stt and third sets to twice go behind but the talented and I believe highly under-rated Wawrinka got there eventually.
Talking of talented players Andy Murray or rather Sir Andrew made light going over Marchenko the Ukrainian winning 7-5, 7-6, 6-2 to get an early shower and a copy of Cosmopolitan Magazine while the ever youthful Roger Federer looked in super form, back from injury and winning his match against Melzer in four sets. Melzer to be quite honest put up a sterling performance against the former world number one but Roger won out and was in fine feckle in the post match interview. When asked what he did while injured to the Australian commentator he replied that he stayed at home and did his job of chasing his two kids around the house. It’s been a long time since seeing Federer so relaxed and he appears to be really enjoying returning to tennis to the delight of his fans and perhaps this is his last chance of engraving himself on the Australian Open Trophy one final time.
One man who won’t be engraving himself on the trophy is 28th seed Lopez knocked out in 3 sets in a cakewalk for Italian Fognini. He is joined by 20th seed Karlovic in second round who endured a grueling game with Argentina star Zeballos with a thrilling, killing 22-20 win in the fifth set, an absolute belter of a final set.
Veteran Baghdatis is through after a second set retirement for opponent Youzhny while Gilles Simon the 25th seed wrapped up a 3 set victory over Mmoh.
Another withdrawal was German Tommy Haas who lost the first two sets and retired to allow Frenchman Paire through to the next round.
Gasquet 3-0 over Mott the Australian and 13th seed Bautista Agut also 3-0 over Pella progressed as did British hope Edmund also in straight sets and they join Gail Monfils a 3 set winner over Vesely.
11th seed Goffin is though after a five set thriller with American Opelka and Ferrer seeded 21 won in straight sets at a canter over Aussie Jasika. Third seed Raonic, a big threat for this tournament won in 3 sets against German Brown in a straightforward contest, Raonic was good, Brown wasn’t.
Djokovic came through unscathed 3-0 against Verdasco and a welcome return to Nadal with a straight set win as well.