Alexander Zverev completed the mandatory task against his German compatriot Daniel Altmaier in three sentences with some difficulty. The number 3 seeded Olympic champion won 7:6(3),6:1,7:6(1), his nearest competitor is Australia’s John Millman.
Nadal, who won the tournament in 2009, is the only former Australian Open champion in the men’s field. The fifth in the world rankings had paused for several months last year due to a complicated foot injury. In preparation for the Australian Open, the 35-year-old made a perfect comeback by winning a tournament in Melbourne. At the Grand Slam tournament there, he could benefit from the absence of world number one Novak Djokovic. His second round opponent is the German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann.
Like Djokovic, Nadal has already collected 20 titles in the four most important tournaments. Last year’s Serbian winner left Melbourne on Sunday after Australia’s federal court rejected his appeal against the cancellation of his visa due to his lack of a corona vaccination.
In the women’s category, Australian world number one Ashleigh Barty didn’t give Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Zurenko the slightest chance with a score of 6:0,6:1. Defending champion Naomi Osaka also progressed confidently. The Japanese prevailed against Camila Osorio from Colombia 6:3, 6:3.
After her impressive opening success, local hero Barty will also have to deal with a qualifier in the second round. She meets the Italian Lucia Bronzetti. Osaka plays against Madison Brengle (USA). The Japanese retired from tennis after the US Open last September and took a longer break. She had previously made her depression public. At the beginning of January, the 24-year-old returned to the tour after a four-month break. The former number one is currently only 14 in the world rankings.
Maria Sakkari had to fight a little more. The fifth-seeded Greek defeated Germany’s Tatjana Maria 6-4, 7-6. On the other hand, young US star Cori Gauff and Sofia Kenin have already been eliminated. 17-year-old Gauff lost to Chinese Wang Qiang 4:6.2:6. Kenin, the 2020 Melbourne champion, lost to her US compatriot Madison Keys in straight straight sets. Austria is not represented in the individual competitions of the Grand Slam tournament.