Monday January 19th, 2015

MELBOURNE -- Catch up on all of the action from the Australian Open on Monday that you may have missed while you were sleeping:

Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep ease through to second round

In one of the first matches on Monday, No. 3 seed Halep took 88 minutes to defeat Karin Knapp, 6-3, 6-2. In the second evening match on Rod Laver, Sharapova cruised to a 6-4, 6-1 victory. 

Rafael Nadal may have shaken the rust off in a decisive first round win

The No. 3 responded beautifully to all the questions surrounding his form and confidence coming into the tournament. He looked incredibly sharp in all facets of his game in a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Mikhail Youzhny in an hour and 50 minutes. How good was he? He struck 37 winners -- 20 off the forehand -- to 15 unforced errors. The forehand had length, the backhand had stick and the serve was popping. Is it too late to revise our brackets?

Tennis
Nadal shows veteran form in opening match in Melbourne

Roger Federer and Andy Murray cruise into the second round

Federer put on a clinic under the lights on Rod Laver Arena, rolling to a 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 win over Lu Yen-Hsun. Murray had no problems with Indian qualifier Yuki Bhambri en route to a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3) win. 

No. 5 Ana Ivanovic was one of eight seeds to fall in the bottom half of the women's draw.

While the men's draw remained intact -- play is still going but no seed has lost yet -- the women's draw saw some Day 1 carnage. The big shocker of the day was Ivanovic's panicked and nervous exit to No. 142 Lucie Hradecka, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Monday. Following her exit from of the tournament: No. 9 Angelique Kerber, No. 16 Lucie Safarova, No. 17 Carla Suarez Navarro, No. 23 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, No. 27 Svetlana Kuznetsova, No. 28 Sabine Lisicki and No. 32 Belinda Bencic were sent home early.

Here's Ivanovic's emotional post-loss press conference, where the word "nerves" came up frequently:

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9OYMHJrP7Q]

The draw has opened up for Eugenie Bouchard

​Bouchard took care of business with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Anna-Lena Friedsam and when she got off court she had to like what she saw in the draw. With all the upsets in her section, the earliest she could now face a seeded player is the quarterfinals. That's reminiscent of her 2014 run here, where she didn't have to face a player ranked higher than No. 70 until the same stage. 

Christina McHale had to "boot and rally" to beat a French qualifier in extra innings. 

I'm going to do you a service and not link to any videos of McHale losing her lunch -- twice -- on court late in the third set of her match against Stephanie Foretz. But she clearly felt better after she did it. After a brief intermission to clean up the court, McHale went into extra innings to beat the Frenchwoman 6-4, 1-6, 12-10. Gutsy effort. (Sorry.)

Tennis
No. 5 Ana Ivanovic stunned in first round of Australian Open by qualifier

Li Na made a special announcement

The retired star helped open play on Rod Laver Arena and used the opportunity to tell the crowd that she and her husband Dennis are expecting a child in the summer. She had the perfect quip to go with the news: "I think Dennis did a good job. He just made one ace."

 

 

Watch her emotional announcement here: 

[tweet=https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen/status/557083601401946112]

(Most of) the teenagers crashed out

Speaking of kids, it hasn't been a good day for most of the teenage set. Along with Bencic (l. Goerges), both Ana Konjuh (l. Rybarikova) and big-talking Borna Coric (l. Chardy) all took a first round exit. The Aussie teens saved the day for the youngsters, as Thanasi Kokkinakis saved four match points in a night match in Margaret Court Arena to upset No. 11 seed Ernests Gulbis 5-7, 6-0, 1-6, 7-6(2), 8-6 and the other home crowd favorite, Nick Kyrgios, defeated Federico Delbonis 7-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 in the last match of the day. 

Photo of the day

Bernat Armangue/AP Photo

Photo of the day: Fan edition

Lee Jin-man/AP Photo

Photo of the day: Abstract edition

Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Celebration of the day

Marinko "Don't call me Mad Dog" Matosevic, finally got his first main draw win at the Australian Open.

Shot of the day

How about these two shots shots from Nadal, which came in the same game:

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZyaWhp5f_4]

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk7hvoPO97Y]

Drive-by-handshake of the day: Sabine Lisicki

[tweet=https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen/status/557023147627511809]

Vine of the day

Kristina Mladenovic upsets No. 28 seed Lisicki and they won't even let her give her Oscar speech:

Tweets of the day

[tweet=https://twitter.com/SteveTignor/status/556997866887987201]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/BenRothenberg/status/557094556886237184]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/gregcouch/status/557071420904452096]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/tumcarayol/status/556997601200201730]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/annekeothavong/status/557091357072687104]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/judmoo/status/557104286786519040]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/breakpointsaved/status/557100369155608576]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/NickMcCarvel/status/557055588522160128]

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