Living upto their reputation, several top seeds started their Australian Open 2021 campaign on a dominant note on Tuesday as they advaced to the second round. In the men’s singles, Spanish star Rafael Nadal started off his chase for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam in an emphatic manner, registering a straight-sets win against Serbia’s Laslo Djere in the opening round contest. World No. 2 defeated Djere 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 in one hour and 51 minutes to reach the second round where he will play qualifier – Michael Mmo. Also Read - Novak Djokovic Equals Roger Federer's Record For Most Weeks as World No.1 at ATP Rankings
Meanwhile, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev didn’t miss a beat at Melbourne Park on Tuesday as he kicked off his campaign with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Vasek Pospisil. The fourth seed Medvedev, who is also the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion, has not lost a match since last October and is currently on a career best 15-match winning streak that dates back to his title at the 2020 Paris Masters. Medvedev continued his dominance in the new year, notching an undefeated run as Russia’s No. 1 singles player en route to the ATP Cup trophy. In the second round, the 2019 US Open runner-up will meet Roberto Carballes Baena. Also Read - Tennis | Sania Mirza Returns to WTA Circuit With a Win in Qatar Open
In other men’s singles matches, Fabio Fognini, Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov and Filip Krajinovic also motored along after comprehensive victories in the first round. Meanwhile, David Goffin suffered an upset as he lost his opening round encouter to local boy Alexei Popyrin.
In the women’s singles, in-form Garbiñe Muguruza continued her dominant run through the summer Down Under with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Margarita Gasparyan in the first round. Along with Muguruza, top-ranked Ash Barty dominated in her first Grand Slam match in more than a year, dropping just 10 points in a 6-0, 6-0 rout of Danka Kovinic in the first round at Melbourne Park.
The 2020 runner-up at Melbourne Park and last week’s finalist at the Yarra Valley Classic, Muguruza needed just 73 minutes to seal a spot in the second round and improved her first-round record at the Australian Open to 9-0.
“I was excited to start the Grand Slam already after few weeks here on-site and in Melbourne,” Muguruza told reporters in her post-match press conference.
Meanwhile, Sofia Kenin needed to exhibit her patented grit to get her title defense off to a victorious start at year’s first slam. On Rod Laver Arena, fifth-ranked Elina Svitolina notched a 6-3, 7-6(5) victory over World No.50 Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic in a tight two-hour battle. Courtesy the win, Svitolina has booked a blockbuster second-round encounter American teenager Coco Gauff.
No.11 seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland fought past Lauren Davis of the United States, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1, to claim a slot in the second round of the year’s first major.