You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Battling Murray crashes out as Federer, Nadal fight on

AFP  |  Melbourne 

A battling bowed out of the at the first hurdle Monday, but it was business as usual for ruthless and who joined in round two.

The Scottish five-time Park finalist gave it everything he had and showed glimpses of the form that won him three Grand Slams, but his ailing body let him down during a gutsy 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-7 (4/7) defeat to 22nd seed

Murray tearfully revealed before the tournament that he was in constant agony from a and planned to retire this year.

The 31-year-old hopes to end his career at Wimbledon, but has admitted the could be his last event, unless he has a late change of heart.

"Amazing. That was incredible, thank you so, so much to everyone that came out tonight," he said after being given a rapturous send-off.

While his tournament ended in despair, Swiss master Federer, six years older than Murray, continued his march towards a record seventh title.

He swept past Uzbek 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 said he was in "disbelief" that he was the double defending champion at his age and vowed to give his all to make it three in a row.

"I'm going to try everything possible (to win again) and leave it all on the court," said the world number three.

His long-time rival Nadal, who cut short his 2018 season to have on a foot injury, showed no mercy to Australian wildcard in his opening round clash.

The 17-time winner cruised through 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 and said it was an important victory.

"Not easy to come back after a lot of months, especially against a playing super aggressive on every point," said the 2009 Australian champion, who showed no sign of any worries. "The I feel in this place is fantastic."

The second seed is bidding to become the first man in the Open era, and only the third in history along with and Rod Laver, to win each on two or more occasions.

Fifth seed progressed, as did NextGen Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas. But ninth seed became the first top seed to crash out.

World number three Wozniacki, who made her breakthrough in last year, opened her defence with a convincing 6-3, 6-4 win over Belgium's

It was an emotional win for the Dane who is struggling with and she was in tears afterwards.

"Last year I had some special memories and just to be able to be back out here on Arena is something extremely special and emotional," she said.

- Good test -


Second seed and 2016 champion was also impressive, breezing past Slovenia's Polona Hercog 6-2, 6-2.

Maria Sharapova, a winner at in 2008, signalled her intent with a rare 6-0, 6-0 double bagel demolition of Britain's

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

"I'm still working through some painful days. But, you know, I felt like I did all the right things today in order to get through that match," said the Russian.

Fifth seeded Sloane Stephens, champion who struggled in her warm-up tournaments in and Sydney, got back to business with an easy two-set win against fellow American

Eleventh seed Aryna Sabalenka, widely tipped as a potential future champion, also safely negotiated round one on a hot day. But Germany's 14th seed was knocked out, as was former champion

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, beating Russia's 6-0, 4-6, 7-6 (10/6).

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 14 2019. 18:55 IST