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Rafael Nadal ready to let rip remodelled serve at Australian Open

Rafael Nadal ready to let rip remodelled serve at Australian Open”

"There is no time for that, I'm sorry to say ... when you're playing the first round of a Grand Slam", said Sharapova, who is still feeling pain in her right shoulder despite sitting out the end of last season after the U.S. Open.

Rafael Nadal has missed a lot of tennis since last September.

Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) bt WC-Jason Kubler (AUS) 6-4 7-6 (1) 2-6 6-3.

"The serve was always a thing that I tried to improve, and I think I did".

Wearing a sleeveless top, he showed no signs of any issues against Duckworth.

His only stumble as he served for the match and was broken by Duckworth, who got back to 5-4.

Nadal has only lost twice in the first round at Grand Slams - to Steve Darcis at 2013 Wimbledon, and to Fernando Verdasco at Melbourne Park in 2016.

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Anderson has lost in the first round here six times, including to Kyle Edmund a year ago.

Although she had a game point in the fifth game of the second set, she squandered that and all her other opportunities against the player she considers her idol.

Vekic lost 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 to Kimberly Birrell, a 20-year-old Australian ranked 240th who got into the field as a wild card.

A change in the rules for this tournament means matches that reach 6-6 in the deciding set will be finished by a first-to-10-points tie-break rather than the standard first-to-seven-points one.

Jelena Ostapenko suffered a shock first-round defeat at the Australian Open on Monday as 2019's first grand slam got under way in Melbourne. She was the first of five Australian Open winners to play on Rod Laver Arena on Day 1, starting with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Harriet Dart.

Her serve and overall consistency was the difference.

Tomas Berdych sent 2018 Australian Open semifinalist Kyle Edmund home early with right away with a 6-3, 6-0, 7-5 win over the No. 13 seed on Melbourne Arena in the match before five-time finalist Andy Murray took on Roberto Bautista Agut.

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The 31-year-old Russian arrived at Melbourne Park as the 30th seed but said she still had the desire to succeed at a tournament she has won once, in 2008, and made the final a further three times.

Breaking serve to start the second set, she survived another long service game at 4-0 - saving two break points to get Dart on the board - and engineered a trio of match points, converting the third to book her spot in the second round. Rafael Nadal, who won his only Australian title in 2009, was set to play James Duckworth, followed by 2016 victor Angelique Kerber against Polona Hercog.

The night session on center court was set to begin with a ceremony honoring the man himself, Rod Laver, on the anniversary of his second Grand Slam of singles majors in 1969.

Stung by a first-round loss at Wimbledon a year ago, Sharapova said she couldn't afford to feel any empathy for Dart.

The defending women's champion, Caroline Wozniacki, also advanced in straight sets, beating Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-3, and could face Maria Sharapova next.

Eleventh seed Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus also safely negotiated round one on a day when temperatures were soaring towards a forecast 37 Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit).

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