While physical doubts remain, Djokovic hopes his enforced hiatus, during which he became a father for the second time, will mean the end to the mental struggles that dogged him during the second half of 2016 and first half of 2017.
With the temperatures heating up, he was pushed to four sets by Ricardas Berankis before prevailing 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7/2) in a tough workout he said was “proud” to come through. Nevertheless, the 24-year-old is dismissing that fact as inconsequential as she approaches the start of the Australian Open. But right now it’s at the level where I can compete, and every day it is getting better. I have to graduate before him because I’m better than him.
One of those women, Simona Halep, is looking to finally break through and win her first major after twice finishing runner-up. But she made a meal of it against local hope Destanee Aiava. “She’s going to be good in the future”.
Muguruza is in the same quarter as US Open finalist Madison Keys, Australian Open 2016 champion Kerber and five-time major victor Maria Sharapova, returning to Melbourne two years after a failed doping test here led to a 15-month suspension.
“I think I’ve improved everything (since first becoming No 1)”, Wozniacki said at Melbourne Park.
“I cherish these moments”.
“I had before last year, about five [injuries on] this ankle during the years”. But I’m really happy that I could win the first round. Smith recovered a set of disadvantage to her opponent, before defeating her in three bets, and winning her 10th title at the Australian Open!
When asked whether she may be forced to pull out of the tournament ahead of her second-round match with Eugenie Bouchard, she added: ‘I’m not thinking about that.
Sixth seed Marin Cilic and French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko are also in action. Konta will now take on American Bernarda Pera in the next round.
There is ample room for an ambush in the men’s draw with a gifted, unpredictable outsider like Australia’s Nick Kyrgios in fine form and talents like Zverev, Del Potro, Dimitrov and David Goffin lurking. But Nadal has never won a Grand Slam tournament without playing in an official event at least three weeks before it and has rarely won a Grand Slam tournament without winning a lead-in tournament. She has a shot at No. 1 during the Australian Open. The economics of tennis make the Grand Slams important as showcases of tennis, yes, but also as money management and wealth creation events which can remove a lot of stress and give players an idea of how to shape their budgets during the year.
Former world number one Maria Sharapova, the 2008 victor in Melbourne, progressed to the second round with a 6-1 6-4 victory over German Tatjana Maria.
“A month ago I didn’t know if I was going to come to Australia or not because the elbow was still not prepared for this level of competition”, Djokovic, playing his first match since Wimbledon previous year, said in an on-court interview. She hasn’t been able to hit the ground running because of the recent hip injury in Brisbane.