Rafa on track for second Australian Open title

Ruben Hill
January 21, 2020

Switzerland's Roger Federer in action during the match against Steve Johnson of the United States at the Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia, January 20, 2020.

Novak Djokovic heads into the Australian Open second round on the back of dropping a rare set in his first outing in Melbourne.

Earlier in the day, reigning women's champion Osaka beat the Czech Republic's Marie Bouzkova 6-2, 6-4, kicking off her campaign for a second consecutive Australian Open title.

Rafael Nadal was a dominant force in the opening round clash.

On top of that, on Monday (January 20th) Morning, Melbourne Park had witnessed an older version of Serena Williams when she was thought to be an impregnable marvel, as the Russ teen was out-performed 6-0, 6-3 in straight sets, while the first set was wrapped under 20 minutes.

"A positive start", Nadal said, via the Associated Press. The Spaniard boasts an impressive 19 Grand Slam wins, though only has one of them at the Australian Open - which came in 2009.

Fiery Italian 12th seed Fabio Fognini survived a major scare to progress 3-6 6-7 (7-3) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (10-5) over big-serving American Reilly Opelka in a fifth-set super-tiebreaker.

The 24-year-old IL native also found a pair of "super fans" in the audience after her match, something that caught her off guard being on the other side of the world.

This included two Grand Slams, the French and US Open, led his nation to Davis Cup success and finished World No.1.

Sharapova earned her spot in the tournament as a wildcard after battling a shoulder injury all last season.

The 38-year-old American, who is pursuing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, said it was a waiting game to see how conditions develop over the next fortnight.

"I can speak about my struggles and the things that I've gone through with my shoulder, but it's not really in my character to", Sharapova said, via the WTA.

"I assume I constantly attempt to advise myself to be modest, to be happy for the life that I have, the opportunity to play tennis, the sporting activity that I love".

"I felt I was in control of the match".

"There's no reward for being a defending champion and you just have to go into it with the mindset that everyone wants to beat you and it's going to probably be tougher the second time around", the Japanese told reporters.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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