MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Highlights of the second day at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, on Tuesday (times AEST; GMT+11):
Former champion Stan Wawrinka celebrated his 200th Grand Slam match with a 7-5 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4 victory over Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur.
John Millman is no stranger to long, draining matches and while the Australian said he would like to get some quicker wins under his belt he will stay true to his own brand of tennis.
“I’d love to go out there and win super-quick points. That’s just not how I’m built. And I think I can take a bit of pride in how I go about my business,” Millman said after beating Ugo Humbert 7-6(3) 6-3 1-6 7-5.
World number one Rafa Nadal began his quest for a 20th Grand Slam title to equal his great rival Roger Federer with a routine 6-2 6-3 6-0 victory over Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien.
Should the Spaniard repeat his 2009 success in Melbourne, he will become the first man in the Open Era to capture each of the four majors at least twice.
Former champion Maria Sharapova said she was unsure if she would be back at the Australian Open next year after the wild card suffered a third successive first-round exit at a Grand Slam.
“I don’t know. I was fortunate to get myself to be here... it’s tough for me to tell what’s going to happen in 12 months’ time,” the five-times Grand Slam champion, who has been hampered by a shoulder injury, told reporters.
1544 KYRGIOS PREDICTS ‘BIG THINGS’ FOR AMERICAN PAUL
American Tommy Paul drew praise from local favourite Nick Kyrgios following his 4-6 6-4 6-4 6-4 win over Argentine Leonardo Mayer for his first Grand Slam main draw victory.
“Only the beginning. This kid is gonna do big things,” Kyrgios tweeted.
Fifth seed Dominic Thiem maintained his 100% record against Adrian Mannarino, winning an eighth career meeting with the Frenchman 6-3 7-5 6-2 to move into the second round.
American teenager Amanda Anisimova has had plenty of time to indulge her sweet tooth ahead of her first-round meeting with Kazakh Zarina Diyas. “Why is candy in Australia so good? So underrated,” the 18-year-old tweeted before the match.
Belinda Bencic, who has pledged to donate $200 for bushfire relief efforts with each double fault she serves at the Australian Open, said she could easily had more than the four in her win over Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
“It’s great. I could have done more, but I didn’t,” a smiling Bencic told reporters before being reminded that she also hit four aces. “Yes, so I can maybe donate (for) both.”
American Madison Keys, a semi-finalist here in 2015, blasted 29 winners in a 6-3 6-1 win over Russia’s Daria Kasatkina, while 19th seed Donna Vekic fended off former champion Maria Sharapova 6-3 6-4.
Italy’s Fabio Fognini, the 12th seed, battled back from two sets down to beat unseeded American Reilly Opelka 3-6 6-7(3) 6-4 6-3 7-6(5) in a match lasting three hours and 38 minutes.
In other first-round matches carried over from a rain-hit opening day, Milos Raonic beat lucky loser Lorenzo Giustino 6-2 6-1 6-3 while Marin Cilic downed Corentin Moutet 6-3 6-2 6-4.
Brisbane International champion Karolina Pliskova maintained her unbeaten start to the year with a 6-1 7-5 win over France’s Kristina Mladenovic while sixth seed Belinda Bencic advanced to the second round with a 6-3 7-5 victory over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.
British 12th seed Johanna Konta was the first big-name player to be knocked out on Tuesday when Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur thrashed her 6-4 6-2 in just over an hour on 1573 Arena.
The pair were one of the first matches to start on Tuesday after rain played havoc with the draw on the first day.
Konta has been troubled by a knee injury for more than a year and had not played in more than four months as she tried to regain her fitness ahead of the season opening Grand Slam.
Jabeur sealed victory when Konta’s defensive backhand sailed over the baseline and she now faces either Madison Brengle or Caroline Garcia in the next round.
Play got underway early on the second day on the outside courts after a number of matches were suspended on day one due to torrential rain in Melbourne.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast clearing weather with a high of just 22C (71.6°F).
Smoke from bushfires that affected qualifying has dissipated and Victoria’s Environmental Protection Agency rated the air quality as good.
Compiled by Greg Stutchbury and Shrivathsa Sridhar; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Himani Sarkar