Shara­pova gets quick win

Nadal, Stephens also ad­vance on first day of ma­jor

Albany Times Union - - SPORTS -

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.

Wil­liam West / Getty im­ages

maria Shara­pova hits a re­turn dur­ing her 6-0, 6-0 sweep of Bri­tish qual­i­fier Har­riet dart.

Ju­lian fin­ney / Getty im­ages

rafael nadal opened the Aus­tralian open with a win over James duck­worth.

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