Nadal, Sharapova advance in straight sets at Australian Open


Five-time Grand Slam victor Maria Sharapova warned she can not be written off at this year's Australian Open after serving a 6-0, 6-0 "double bagel" to Britain's Harriet Dart in the first round Monday.

"I know, you were closing your eyes to be more focused on what I was saying", he added, continuing to make light of the embarrassing situation.

After an injury-plagued 2018, the 17-time Grand Slam champion was back to his devastating old self as he raced through in 2hr 15min. "And that's what I need".

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.

"So that's an important victory because it's the first victory in a while, and at the same time, because that gives me the chance to be on court again".

It brought a huge ovation from the home supporters and another roar as the world number 238 held for 5-5.

More news: Oklahoma quarterback Austin Kendall exploring possible transfer, report says
More news: A's are scrambling for last-ditch Kyler Murray plea
More news: Stobart Teams Up With Virgin Atlantic To Buy Flybe

Fifth seeded Sloane Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion who struggled in her warm-up tournaments in Brisbane and Sydney, got back to business with an easy two-set win against fellow American Taylor Townsend.

"I can still play, but not to a level I'm happy playing at", said Murray ahead of his evening clash in Melbourne Arena on a day when temperatures are forecast to soar to 37 Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit). His only hiccup came when he served for the match in the ninth game of the third set and was broken at love. "When you play against a player that he wants to hit all the shots, of course you can have breaks against, because you are sometimes in his hands".

"But anyway, my serve worked well. But, you know, I felt like I did all the right things today in order to get through that match".

Nadal faces a second round clash against the victor of Aussie Matthew Ebden's match against Jan-Lennard Struff.

The 2009 victor had pulled out of the Brisbane International warm-up with a thigh strain but showed no signs of the problem in his opener. "It's always different pains appearing in the first weeks back after a while".

"I'm playing good tennis".