Sharapova gets quick win
Nadal, Stephens also advance on first day of major
Maria Sharapova got out of the Melbourne heat as quickly as she could, needing just 63 minutes to beat British qualifier Harriet Dart 6-0, 6-0 in the first match on Rod Laver Arena at the Australian Open.
Sharapova, who wore an ice collar during breaks to help alleviate the 86 degree temperature, was making her 15th appearance at the season-opening major.
Sharapova said she was still feeling pain in her right shoulder despite sitting out the end of last season after the U.S. Open.
Rafael Nadal beat No. 238th-ranked James Duckworth 6-4, 6-3, 7-5, his 15th win in 17 matches against wild cards at Grand Slam tournaments.
Nadal’s only defeats to wild cards at majors were against James Blake (2005 U.S. Open) and Nick Kyrgios (Wimbledon in 2014).
American Sloane Stephens, the No. 5 women’s seed, opened with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Taylor Townsend.
Among the other seeded players advancing were No. 11 Aryna Sabalenka, who beat Anna Kalinskaya 6-1, 6-4, No. 19 Caroline Garcia, No. 29 Donna Vekic and No. 31 Petra Martic.
Fifth-seeded Kevin Anderson overcame his traditional poor firstround performances at Melbourne Park with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 win over Adrian Mannarino.
Anderson has lost in the first round here six times, including to Kyle Edmund last year. It was the South African’s first win in Melbourne since 2015.
Mannarino became upset when Anderson took a lengthy bathroom break after the third set, complaining to the umpire. The Frenchman’s mood wasn’t improved when he lost his service game to open the fourth set.
Danielle Collins advanced to the second round of a major for the first time following a 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 win over No. 14-seeded Julia Goerges.
Also advancing on the men’s side were No. 19 Nikoloz Basilashvili and No. 26 Fernando Verdasco.
maria Sharapova hits a return during her 6-0, 6-0 sweep of British qualifier Harriet dart.
rafael nadal opened the Australian open with a win over James duckworth.