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Australian players turn cold in Melbourne heat

14 Jan 2014, 19:45 IST

Melbourne, Jan 14 (IANS) Melbourne Park became excessively hot as the temperature reached a high of 41.8 degrees Tuesday but the home players developed cold feet at the Australian Open.

Injured Bernard Tomic retired after losing the first set 4-6 against top seed Rafael Nadal.

Tomic left the court for a medical timeout for several minutes after the third game and decided to retire with an apparent left thigh injury after the first set.

Tomic’s compatriot and former World No. 1 Lleyton went down to Italian 24th seed Andreas Seppi in a draining four hours and 18 minutes.

The 32-year-old trailed by two sets to love and a break in the third before making his way into a fifth but still departed the Australian Open at the first round stage for the second successive year.

Wildcard James Duckworth’s loss was not quite a surprise as the Aussie lost to four-time champion Roger Federer in straight sets. The Swiss used only one hour and 46 minutes to begin his 57th consecutive major tournament, surpassing the Open Era record of 56 set by Wayne Ferreira of South Africa.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion will play against Blaz Kavcic, who qualified as opponent Radek Stepanek retired due to injury.

Three-time runner up Andy Murray beat Japan’s Soeda Go 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 to make his return to Grand Slam action for the first time since his back surgery in September.

The fourth-seeded Scot won the Wimbledon Open last year to become the first British winner in 77 years before having a surgery in September and missing the rest of the season.

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