Rafael Nadal is safely through to Round 2 of the 2017 Brisbane International, as he coasted to a 6-3, 6-3 win over Alexandr Dolgopolov on Tuesday.
The Spaniard, seeded fifth at this event, will be hoping for an injury-free year after some recent fitness troubles and was in fine form in his first match of the season.
In the women’s draw, fourth seed Garbine Muguruza played out a thriller against Daria Kasatkina, saving a match point to eventually win in three sets. Third seed Karolina Pliskova is through too, as she notched a routine victory against Asia Muhammad.
Here are the results in full from Tuesday, as well as the provisional order of play for Wednesday, and a closer look at the best of the action on another gripping day Down Under.
|Rafael Nadal (5) bt. Alexandr Dolgopolov||6-3, 6-3|
|Lucas Pouille (6) bt. Gilles Simon||7-6 (6), 7-6 (4)|
|Jared Donaldson bt. Gilles Muller||6-4, 6-4|
|Sam Groth bt. Pierre-Hugues Herbert||6-3, 5-7, 7-5|
|Diego Schwartzman bt. Sam Querrey||6-2, 6-4|
|Viktor Troicki bt. Yoshihito Nishioka||6-4, 7-5|
|Mischa Zverev bt. Alex De Minaur||6-3, 6-3|
|Karolina Pliskova (3) bt. Asia Muhammad||6-1, 6-4|
|Garbine Muguruza (4) bt. Daria Kasatkina||7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (7)|
|Elina Svitolina (6) bt. Shelby Rogers||7-5, 2-6, 7-5|
|Alize Cornet bt. Christina McHale||6-2, 6-1|
|Destanee Aiava bt. Bethanie Mattek-Sands||2-6, 6-3, 6-4|
|Dominika Cibulkova (2)||vs.||Shuai Zhang|
|Jared Donaldson||vs.||Kei Nishikori (3)|
|David Ferrer (8)||vs.||Jordan Thompson|
|Viktor Troicki||vs.||Stan Wawrinka (2)|
|Angelique Kerber (1)||vs.||Ashleigh Barty|
|Sam Groth & Chris Guccione||vs.||Raven Klaasen & Rajeev Ram (3)|
|Svetlana Kuznetsova (5)||vs.||Destanee Aiava|
|Misaki Doi||vs.||Roberta Vinci (8)|
|Samantha Stosur & Shuai Zhang||vs.||Ekaterina Makarova & Elena Vesnina (2)|
|Lucas Pouille (6)||vs.||Kyle Edmund|
Order of play courtesy of the competition’s official website.
All eyes were on Nadal on Tuesday, as he sought to get 2017 off to a smooth start. Although Dolgopolov can be a testing opponent at his best.
The Spaniard did endure an early wobble, as he lost his serve in the third game of the match. However, Nadal slowly started to find his groove midway through the stanza and from 3-2 down, rattled off four games in succession to take the set.
Chris Hyde/Getty Images
Nadal was never troubled in his opening match.
Dolgopolov did battle hard to stay in contention at the start of the second set, although Nadal was able to keep any hopes of a resurgence at bay. There were signs of the ruthlessness he has shown on his way to 14 Grand Slam titles, taking the first break point available and confidently closing the contest out.
Other notable names through in the men’s draw include sixth seed Lucas Pouille, who won in two tiebreaks against compatriot Gilles Simon. Australian Sam Groth was a popular winner too, as he came through an exciting encounter with Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
In the women’s draw, Muguruza was expected to make light work of Kasatkina, and after edging a tight opening set 7-5, the Spaniard was on course for a straightforward triumph.
Chris Hyde/Getty Images
Muguruza came through by the skin of her teeth.
But to her credit, the 19-year-old Russian showed why so many are so excited about her potential, as she turned on the style in the third set to win 6-3. Muguruza was looking a little rattled and per the WTA Insider Twitter feed, her opponent was battling hard:
Kasatkina digs out of a 0-40 hole to serve out the second set. Into a third. The youngster has played a very smart match. #BrisbaneTennis
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) January 3, 2017
In the decider, Muguruza lost her first service game, although it was a setback which seemed to jolt her into life, as she strung off the next four games in a row. However, the youngster showed brilliant spirit and recovered to make it 4-4.
The match eventually went to a tiebreak, which was a breathless affair. Both players had a two-point lead at one stage and each spurned a match point. However, with the score 8-7 in her favour, Muguruza eventually clinched it; as we can see, the French Open champion was very relieved:
It’s over!@GarbiMuguruza saves a match point to edge Kasatkina 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(7) & makes the @BrisbaneTennis Quarterfinals! pic.twitter.com/bt3jaxKj56
— WTA (@WTA) January 3, 2017
While the Spaniard was battling to stay in the tournament, Pliskova would have had her feet up having secured a comfortable victory in the first match of the day.
After a lopsided opening set, which the third seed won 6-1, there seemed to be little hope for Muhammad, who looked a little shell-shocked by the Czech’s brilliant early flourish.
The American did hold her own in the second stanza and was able to exert herself on the match a little more. However, as we can see here, she was up against an extremely obdurate opponent:
A little smirk from @KaPliskova after that finish 😏 #BrisbaneTennis pic.twitter.com/zxwG0GXGap
— WTA (@WTA) January 3, 2017
When Muhammad was under pressure to serve to stay in the match, Pliskova struck, taking the first match point that presented itself.
Also into the next round is sixth seed Elina Svitolina, who overcame Shelby Rogers in a deciding set 7-5, 2-6, 7-5.
On Wednesday, all eyes will be on world No. 1 Angelique Kerber, although those in attendance won’t necessarily be on her side. The German will be up against 20-year-old Aussie Ashleigh Barty in her second round clash in what promises to be one of the tussles of the day.