Australian Open

All eyes on Rafa at Open

2011-01-17 18:15

Melbourne - Rafa Nadal begins his quest on Tuesday to become the first man to possess all four major crowns simultaneously since 1969 against Brazil's Marcos Daniel at the Australian Open.

Click to vote and WIN in the Sport24 Annual Awards

The last time a man held all four grand slam titles, most following tennis on television watched a slower, more serene version of the game in grainy black and white images.

In today's punishing crash-bang game, to achieve what has proven beyond even the world number one's arch-rival Roger Federer would be a truly astonishing feat.

Nadal, who has been suffering with a bout of flu, has played down his chances of emulating American Don Budge (1938) and Australia's Rod Laver (1962 and 1969) in Melbourne.

"It's almost impossible," insisted the swashbuckling Spaniard. "Most matches are decided by a few balls so it's very difficult to have one player winning everything."

Nadal famously reduced Federer to tears after beating the Swiss in the 2009 Australian Open final, and will expect to make short work of the 93rd-ranked Daniel in the first round.

Last year's runner-up Andy Murray, seeded fifth, faces a tricky opener against Slovakian Karol Beck, but the Briton has been talking up his chances.

"Mentally I'm probably in a better place," said the Scot, who lost to Federer in last year's final. "I just need to go out and put the improvements I've made into practice."

U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters faces fellow former world number one Dinara Safina in the pick of the women's matches.

Safina, younger sister of former Melbourne favourite "Big Red" Marat Safin, has slumped outside the top 50 since reaching the top in April 2009 due to injury and a crisis of confidence.

Three-times grand slam winner Clijsters, formerly dubbed "Aussie Kim" during her romance with Lleyton Hewitt, should have too much firepower for the brittle Russian.

Serbians Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic, both former number ones, also begin their campaigns.

Local favourite Samantha Stosur, who reached the final at last year's French Open, follows Nadal on to centre court where the fifth seed faces American Lauren Davis.

Home fans will also give Hewitt plenty of vocal support, although the former world number one will have his hands full against Argentina's David Nalbandian.

Sweden's gentle giant Robin Soderling will look to underline his championship credentials against Italian Potito Starace.

Collated results from day one of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park here Monday (x denotes seeding):


Tomas Berdych (CZE x6) bt Marco Crugnola (ITA) 6-4, 6-0, 6-2

Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) bt Tobias Kamke (GER) 1-6, 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 6-4

Adrian Mannarino (FRA) bt Ryan Harrison (USA) 6-4, 6-3, 6-4

Richard Gasquet (FRA x28) bt Frank Dancevic (CAN) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

Florian Mayer (GER) bt Nikolay Davydenko (RUS x23) 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4

Kei Nishikori (JPN) bt Fabio Fognini (ITA) 6-1, 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 6-4

Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) bt Mischa Zverev (GER) 6-3, 6-1, 6-4

Fernando Verdasco (ESP x9) bt Rainer Schuettler (GER) 6-1, 6-3, 6-2

Nicolas Almagro (ESP x14) bt Stephane Robert (FRA) 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 7-5

Igor Andreev (RUS) bt Filippo Volandri (ITA) 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3

Benoit Paire (FRA) bt Flavio Cipolla (ITA) 6-1, 7-5, 6-1

Ivan Ljubicic (CRO x17) bt Peter Luczak (AUS) 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (7/2)

Viktor Troicki (SRB x29) bt Dmitry Tursunov (RUS) 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, 6-0

Nicolas Mahut (FRA) bt Brian Dabul (ARG) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

Ivan Dodig (CRO) bt Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-4

Novak Djokovic (SRB x3) bt Marcel Granollers (ESP) 6-1, 6-3, 6-1

Andy Roddick (USA x8) bt Jan Hajek (CZE) 6-1, 6-2, 6-2

Igor Kunitsyn (RUS) bt Michal Przysiezny (POL) 6-7 (1/7), 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (8/6)

Robin Haase (NED) bt Carlos Berlocq (ARG) 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5)

Juan Monaco (ARG x26) bt Simon Greul (GER) 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/4), 6-2

Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x19) bt Teimuraz Gabashvili (RUS) 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, 6-4

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) bt Andrey Golubev (KAZ) 6-1, 6-4, 6-2

Frederico Gil (POR) bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-4, 6-7 (7/9), 4-6, 6-3, 9-7

Gael Monfils (FRA x12) bt Thiemo de Bakker (NED) 6-7 (5/7), 2-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-1

Mardy Fish (USA x16) bt Victor Hanescu (ROM) 2-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-3

Tommy Robredo (ESP) bt Somdev Devvarman (IND) 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 6-4

Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) bt Daniel Brands (GER) 6-2, 6-3, 6-4

Lukasz Kubot (POL) bt Sam Querrey (USA x18) 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, 8-6

Albert Montanes (ESP x25) bt Dustin Brown (GER) 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 7-5

Xavier Malisse (BEL) bt Pablo Andujar (ESP) 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (7/3)

Gilles Simon (FRA) bt Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE) 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-4, 6-2

Roger Federer (SUI x2) bt Lukas Lacko (SVK) 6-1, 6-1, 6-3


Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x1) bt Gisela Dulko (ARG) 6-3, 6-4

Vania King (USA) bt Tamira Paszek (AUT) 6-7 (4/7), 6-0, 6-3

Alberta Brianti (ITA) bt Lucie Hradecka (CZE) 6-4, 7-5

Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x29) bt Angelique Kerber (GER) 6-2, 6-7 (4/7), 6-4

Yanina Wickmayer (BEL x21) bt Jarmila Groth (AUS) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4

Anastasija Sevastova (LAT) bt Polona Hercog (SLO) 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)

Vesna Manasieva (RUS) bt Laura Pous (ESP) 7-5, 6-2

Marion Bartoli (FRA x15) bt Tathiana Garbin (ITA) 6-0, 6-0

Justine Henin (BEL x11) bt Sania Mirza (IND) 5-7, 6-3, 6-1

Elena Baltacha (SCO) bt Jamie Hampton (USA) 3-6, 6-4, 7-5

Arantxa Rus (NED) bt Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 6-1, 3-6, 7-5

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x23) bt Alison Riske (USA) 6-3, 6-2

Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL x32) bt Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

Monica Niculescu (ROM) bt Timea Bacsinszky (SWI) 6-0, 6-3

Rebecca Marino (CAN) bt Junri Namigata (JPN) 6-2, 4-6, 6-3

Francesca Schiavone (ITA x6) bt Arantxa Parra (ESP) 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-4

Venus Williams (USA x4) bt Sara Errani (ITA) 6-3, 6-2

Sandra Zahlavova (CZE) bt Renata Voracova (CZE) 6-3, 6-1

Anne Keothavong (GBR) bt Arina Rodionova (RUS) 7-5, 6-4

Andrea Petkovic (GER x30) bt Jill Craybas (USA) 6-1, 6-2

Kaia Kanepi (EST x20) bt Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3

Julia Gorges (GER) bt Edina Gallovits (ROM) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3

Virginie Razzano (FRA) bt Elena Vesnina (RUS) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3

Maria Sharapova (RUS x14) bt Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA) 6-1, 6-3

Na Li (CHN x9) bt Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) 6-1, 7-5

Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) bt Olivia Rogowska (AUS) 6-3, 6-1

Jelena Dokic (AUS) bt Zuzana Ondraskova (CZE) 6-3, 6-2

Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) bt Aravane Rezai (FRA x17) 6-0, 3-6, 7-5

Regina Kulikova (RUS) bt Daniela Hantuchova (SVK x28) 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 9-7

Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) bt Karolina Sprem (CRO) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2

Andrea Hlavackova (CZE) bt Patricia Mayr (AUT) 7-5, 6-4

Victoria Azarenka (BLR x8) bt Kathrin Woerle (GER) 6-0, 6-2

Read more on:    australian open  |  rafael nadal


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


30 of the world's greatest golfers will be heading to the Gary Player Country Club for this year's Nedbank Golf Challenge - now in its 35th year. For all the latest news, player profiles, hole-by-hole descriptions and past winners, be sure to check out Sport24's dedicated section.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.