Duckworth, Tomic eye first-night upsets
TENNIS: Australian wildcard James Duckworth will try to exploit Rafael Nadal’s interrupted preparation in today’s firstround showdown.
Ranked 238, Duckworth has not progressed past Round 1 of a grand slam in more than two years, but is hopeful of pulling of a stunning upset against the champion Spaniard in the pair’s first meeting today.
Once again, Nadal’s fitness is one of the big talking points, as the popular veteran searches for his second Open crown.
Nadal, 32, had ankle surgery in November and suffered a quad problem which forced the No.2 seed to pull out of last week’s Brisbane International.
But Nadal brushed aside some of those concerns in his final hit-up at Melbourne Park yesterday, as the pair prepare for a scorcher on Rod Laver Arena today.
Bernard Tomic, meanwhile, can look to get his rollercoaster tennis career back on track with one of the biggest wins of his career tonight.
After an encouraging second half of last season, Tomic will attempt to continue his improved form against No.6 seed Marin Cilic on Margaret Court Arena.
For Tomic, 26, it is a mammoth challenge against the Croat who last year pushed Roger Federer to five sets in the final.
But Tomic defeated Cilic in their last encounter in 2015.