Australian Open Scene: Nadal's shorts, Murray's language

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Christina McHale has survived her fair share of endurance-testing matches at the Grand Slams.

Few have been as dramatic, though, as her first-round win at the Australian Open on Monday when she vomited on court at 4-all in the third set and saved a match point before outlasting France's Stephanie Foretz 6-4, 1-6, 12-10. The final set took nearly two hours to complete.

Feeling much better after the match, McHale said getting sick in front of a crowded gallery wasn't the worst part of the day.

''I was more just embarrassed that it took so long to clean up,'' she said. ''But I did feel much better after I let it out.''

The 22-year-old American is hoping for a far quicker match in the second round against Carina Witthoeft of Germany. She has a knack for going the distance in the first round at the majors - she has twice lost 9-7 in the third set and won another two matches 10-8 and 8-6 in the decider.

''I feel like all my first rounds at the slams are always really dramatic. I'm just so happy I was able to pull through this one.''

By Justin Bergman -- https://twitter.com/justinb3rg

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BIRTHDAY VOLLEY: Stefan Edberg turned 49 on Monday and Roger Federer gave him the gift of tennis.

After Federer won his first-round match, the center-court interviewer put him on the spot and asked the Swiss star if he had bought his coach a present for his 49th birthday on Monday.

Edberg, a six-time Grand Slam champion, smiled in the stands where he sat beside Federer's wife.

''The day's not over yet,'' Federer said with a laugh after his evening match, which marked a first step toward his goal of an 18th Grand Slam title. ''Shops are still open in Melbourne.''

Then he fessed up.

Quick on his feet, Federer then realized he had given Edberg something he liked.

''We had a warm-up together,'' Federer said. ''He loves that. He loves to play tennis.''

By Jocelyn Gecker -- http://twitter.com/jgecker

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AUSSIE RULES: It was hard to say what was more fearless about 18-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis at the Australian Open on Monday - his inspired play against 11th-seeded Ernests Gulbis or his hot pink and neon yellow outfit.

Kokkinakis, who had never played a match going to five sets before, saved four match points in the fourth set and six break points in the deciding set before putting Gulbis away 5-7, 6-0, 1-6, 7-6 (2), 8-6 in just over four hours.

The Australian teenager celebrated with a breakdance-inspired move - a high-kicking back roll - and then circling Court 3 to give high-fives to the packed house.

The gritty, come-from-behind win was reminiscent of some of fellow Aussie Lleyton Hewitt's dramatic five-setters at Melbourne Park over the years, but Kokkinakis isn't getting ahead of himself.

''He's done it a few more times than once,'' he said.

As for his outfit, which conjured images of Andre Agassi's flashier ensembles, Kokkinakis agrees it's out there. He said his clothing sponsor picked it out especially for him.

''They were like, we only give this to a few. If you're up for it, wear it,'' he said. ''I wore the stripes last year, but that was nothing compared to what I wore this year. ... I was like surely in this outfit I've got to get the win.''

By Justin Bergman -- https://twitter.com/justinb3rg

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PINK STRIPES: After a long time away, Rafael Nadal is back. And he's hard to miss.

Nadal outshone his first-round opponent Mikhail Youzhny, literally and sartorially, decked out in a pink fluorescent tennis shirt and a neon yellow wristband to match his sneakers.

Nadal told the on-court interviewer after his first-round win that his time away from the tour because of injuries and an appendix surgery had battered his confidence. The commentator responded by pointing to Nadal's shorts and saying he suspected the Spaniard didn't truly suffer from lack of confidence.

''I don't think many men could pull off this pink reflector,'' the commentator told Nadal, drawing stadium-wide laughter as he pointed out the neon pink stripe down the side of Nadal's white shorts.

Nadal joined the laughter, saying these were his ''party'' shorts for the past couple of months during his time off.

''I just like bright colors,'' Nadal added. ''Australia is a happy country, a sports country. People here bring me positive energy, so it's the right place to wear that.''

By Jocelyn Gecker -- http://twitter.com/jgecker

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RUNNING DIALOGUE: Andy Murray is well-known for using some nasty words to criticize himself during matches, and he was at it again while briefly trailing in his 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3) victory Monday over Indian qualifier Yuki Bhambri.

While down 4-1 in the third set, Murray yelled angrily and threw his hands up in the air, clearly unhappy with how he was playing.

After all was said and done, he forgave himself.

''I think in some sense when you're playing you tend to say things that you don't really mean,'' Murray said. ''That's just how the brain works. I've learned a lot about that over the last couple years.''

By Dennis Passa -- http://twitter.com/DennisPassa

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Australian Open Scene follows tennis' first Grand Slam tournament of the year as seen by journalists from The Associated Press. It will be updated throughout the day

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