Zverev, Williams coast into second round of Australian Open





Melbourne - By Helen Livingstone, - Serena Williams and Alexander Zverev coasted into the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday, posting straights-sets victories over Tatjana Maria and Aljaz Bedene respectively.
Williams, who sported an eye-catching jade green jumpsuit, was clinical in her 6-0, 6-2 dismantling of Maria, making just 11 unforced errors to the German's 20.



 
The 2017 champion, who is seeking a 24th grand slam singles title to tie for the record with Margaret Court, sat out last year's competition after giving birth to her first child.
Her victory two years ago was "literally the best win of my career so it's exciting to get back," the 37-year-old 16th seed said in a post-match interview.
"I know Tatjana can be incredibly tricky, especially for a match-up against my game style so I'm glad I was able to come out and do what I needed to do." 
She will now face Canada's Eugenie Bouchard in the second round.
In the following match on Melbourne Park's Rod Laver Arena, fourth seed Zverev cruised to a 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 win over Slovenian world world number 67 Bedene.
Though he went down a break in the first set, the 21-year-old German, who won the ATP Finals in November, always looked dominant.
"It was the first match of the season and I was a little bit sloppy, I was a little bit slowish and I was down a break. It was a wake-up call, better get going," he said in an on-court interview.
"I did play really well I thought after that and I'm happy to be through."
Karolina Pliskova, who got her 2019 season off to a winning start by clinching the title at the Brisbane International, meanwhile polished off qualifier and Czech compatriot Karolina Muchova 6-3, 6-2.
Belgian 12th seed Elise Mertens also progressed to the second round after defeating Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2, 7-5, and two-time grand slam champion Garbine Muguruza cruised 6-2, 6-3 past Saisai Zheng of China.
Elsewhere in the men's draw, eighth seed Kei Nishikori had a scare when he lost the first two sets of his first round match against Polish qualifier Kamil Majchrzak.
Though he pulled back the next two, his opponent retired injured in the fifth set, handing him the win.
"He was playing very well, better than I thought ... [it's] very unfortunate how we finish," the Japanese player said afterwards.
"I have to be happy for next round because I almost lost today so I try to be more positive for the next round and I hope I can keep playing better," Nishikori added.  
Italian 12th seed Fabio Fognini also went through to the second round after his opponent, Spain's Jaume Munar, retired in the third set.

 


Tuesday, January 15th 2019
By Helen Livingstone,
           


New comment:
Twitter

News | Politics | Features | Arts | Entertainment | Society | Sport