Nadal blazes into Australian Open second round

Novak Djokovic reveals his most exciting match in career

Novak Djokovic reveals his most exciting match in career

Nadal did not have things all his own way against Australian wild card Duckworth, going a break down early in the second set and then being broken serving for the match, but he came through 6-4, 6-3, 7-5.

Rafael Nadal said on Monday he was delighted with his remodelled serve and his fitness levels after blazing into the second round of the Australian Open.

"The energy I feel in this place is fantastic", he added.

Nadal, who is bidding to become the first man in the Open Era, and only the third man ever, to win each of the four Grand Slams twice, ran his opponent down with his superior court coverage and ability to hit winners under pressure.

The first meeting between the 17-times Grand Slam champion, a victor at Melbourne Park in 2009, and Australian wildcard Duckworth, who is ranked 238 in the world, always had the potential to be an uneven contest.

Wimbledon runner-up Kevin Anderson fired 14 aces and 47 winners to blast past Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-3 5-7 6-2 6-1.

Playing in her 15th Australian Open, the three-time finalist said she was pleased to go through so easily as she battles back from injuries.

Stung by a first-round loss at Wimbledon past year, Sharapova said she couldn't afford to feel any empathy for Dart.

"You keep working and put your head down and kind of disappear once I leave here and just work", he told reporters. "And that's what I need".

Fifth seeded Sloane Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion who struggled in her warm-up tournaments in Brisbane and Sydney, got back to business against fellow American Taylor Townsend in a 6-4, 6-2 win.

Britain's Katie Boulter, meanwhile, created a slice of history by becoming the first woman to win in a third set tiebreak -- a new rule introduced to the Open this year.

Ninth seed John Isner was stunned by his American compatriot Reilly Opelka, who secured a 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5) victory in a tight encounter between the towering pair that looked set to go the distance.

The 26-year-old Australian won last month's Open wildcard playoff to earn his way into the main draw.

Back in 2014, Roger had the unique privilege to hit with Rod Laver on the Rod Laver Arena and the great Aussie was there again to watch Roger in 2016 during his match against David Goffin.

Scottish former world number one Murray tearfully revealed last week that severe pain from a hip injury was proving too much to bear and he planned to retire this year. "I'm just taking it as a nice, fun challenge", she said with Belgium's Alison van Uytvanck her first opponent.