Australian Open 2018, Day 2: Federer, Djokovic, Sharapova, and more
Federer and Djokovic progress
Roger Federer beat Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 without facing a single break of serve. Apart from some blazing shot-making, a highlight of the day was Federer's post-match interview with actor and comedian Will Ferell.
Novak Djokovic made a successful return to his favourite hunting ground sweeping past Donald Young 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. He will face a much sterner test as he plays athletic Frenchman Gael Monfils in the next round.
Halep survives scare
Newly crowned World No.1 Simona Halep came back from 2-5 down in the first set to overcome 17-year-old Destanee Aiava. Local girl Aiava started off with some powerful hitting before the Halep fought back to win in straight sets 7-6, 6-1. Halep lavished high praise on her opponent saying:
"She's a little bit like Serena, she's hitting the ball strong, she's a powerful girl and for sure she will be good in the future."
Heartbreak for Raonic
Former World No. 3 and Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic was self-admittedly out of sorts after coming back from an injury-riddled 2017. He went down fighting 6-7, 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 to unseeded Slovak Lukas Lacko. The good news is that he has fully recovered from the wrist and calf injuries that had plagued him last season and blamed the defeat on lack of fitness and practice.
Top seeds roll on
Third seed Garbine Muguruza, sixth seed Karolina Pliskova, eight seed Caroline Garcia, and ninth seed Johanna Konta all progressed in straight sets. On the men's side, fourth seed Alexander Zverev and fifth seed Dominic Thiem enjoyed straightforward openers. Former champion Stanislas Wawrinka looked rusty at times and was taken to 4 tight sets by world No.136 Ricardas Berankis.
Winners and losers
Juan Martin Del Potro, Maria Sharapova, David Goffin, Angelique Kerber, Sam Querrey, Eugenie Bouchard and Elena Vesnina are all safely through to the second round. Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was agonizingly close to victory before being beaten in a marathon match by Andrea Petkovic 6-3, 4-6, 10-8.
Aussie young guns Alex De Minaur and Thanasi Kokkinakis were dumped out by Tomas Berdych and Daniil Medvedev respectively in hard-fought affairs. Fernando Verdasco who gifted us one of the best Australian Open matches in the 2009 semi-final against Nadal came out victorious in an all-Spanish first round against Roberto Bautista Agut.