Legends Novak Djokovic (1st ATP) and Serena Williams (11th WTA) stomped on their debut at the Australian Open, this Monday on a first day in which several players paid a physical toll for having kept two weeks of quarantine before making their debut.
It was not the case of the king of the first great of the year. Djokovic easily beat Frenchman Jérémy Chardy (61st) by 6-3, 6-3 and 6-2, starting smoothly on the road to his ninth title.
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In the next round, the Serbian, current champion, will face American Frances Tiafoe (64th). “I am very happy to be back and see the public at this stadium. It’s been 12 months that I haven’t seen that many people on a track, “Djokovic told spectators at Rod Laver Arena.
‘My favorite track
“I wanted to start the tournament well tonight, on my favorite track,” added the Serbian, very solid and confident, who did not concede a single break to Chardy.
The script was also fulfilled by number 3 Dominic Thiem, outgoing finalist, who beat the Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin 7-6 (7/2), 6-2, 6-3, while German Alexander Zverev (N.6) beat American Marcos Giron, 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 and 6-2, although broke a racket in frustration in the second set.
“I need time to adjust my tennis, I like to have time, so the courts here are a bit too fast for me, it’s not perfect. I think it’s one of the most The fast ones I’ve played in the last few years, that’s what there is, “Thiem said.
In addition, Pablo Carreño (16th) made his big debut by eliminating Kei Nishikori (42nd), 7-5, 7-6 (7/4) and 6-2, while another Spanish, Pedro Martínez, defeated another Japanese, Yoshihito Nishioka, by 6-7 (3/7), 6-1, 6-1 and 6-1 .
Among the Argentines, world number 9 Diego Schwartzman beat the Swede Elias Ymer, by 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, 2-6 and 6-2. Worse was Federico Coria, who fell to Milos Raonic (6-3, 6-3, 6-2), and Juan Ignacio Londero, eliminated by Alexandre Muller (4-6, 6-3, 6-0 and 6-3). Spanish Albert Ramos and Bolivian Hugo Dellien also said goodbye.
Halep and Osaka, present
In the female category, two great favorites like Naomi Osaka (3rd) and Simona Halep (2nd) they passed with authority. The first beat Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 39th in the world, 6-1, 6-2 in less than an hour.
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“I was very nervous coming into this match. I just wanted to play well,” Osaka told a group of spectators on center court. The Japanese will face the French Caroline Garcia in the second round. Nor did Halep suffer against local Lizette Cabrera, whom he beat 6-2 and 6-1.
“I felt good, my body is ready. It’s great to go back to Melbourne,” said the winner of two Grand Slams, author of 14 winning strokes this Monday.
Serena, for her part, started her 20th Australian Open well, eliminating in less than one hour to the German Laura Siegemund (49th) by 6-1 and 6-1.
The 39-year-old American, seeking a 24th Grand Slam title to equal the Margaret Court’s record, she will face Serbian Nina Stojanovic in the next round, 99th worldwide.
“It was a good start, it was a ‘vintage’ Serena,” said the player, who was playing her 100th match in the tournament. Canadian Bianca Andreescu, 20, also smiled. years old and winner of the US Open in 2019, who returned with victory after more than a year stopped due to injury.
“Last night I cried, but it was good for my head, because of everything I thought about the last 15 months, how hard they were for many reasons,” he said after winning Mihaela Buzarnescu in three sets; 6-2, 4-6 and 6-3.