Nadal a straight-sets winner to begin Australian Open

ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 15, 2018 06:47 PM
Nadal a straight-sets winner to begin Australian Open
Spain's Rafael Nadal challenges a line call as he plays Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Top-seeded Rafael Nadal didn't show any side effects from a right knee injury that sidelined him at the end of last season, beating Victor Estrella Burgos 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 in a first-round match.

Nadal, who won the French Open and U.S. Open last year, lost in last year's final here to Roger Federer.

The Spanish lefthander has only lost in the first round at two Grand Slam singles tournaments — to Steve Darcis at Wimbledon in 2013, and to Fernando Verdasco in Melbourne in 2016.

Nadal will play Leonardo Mayer in the second round on Wednesday. Mayer beat Nicolas Jarry 6-2, 7-6 (1), 6-3 earlier Monday.

In other matches:

Caroline Wozniacki was an easy 6-2, 6-3 winner over Michaela Buzarnescu in a first-round match at Melbourne Park.

At No. 2, Wozniacki is playing here at her highest seeding since appearing as the top-seeded player at the 2012 Australian Open when she lost in the quarterfinals.

Wozniacki, seeded 19th in Melbourne last year, is still looking to win her first Grand Slam singles title.

Add Jack Sock's name to the list of Americans departing Monday from the Australian Open.

On the same day the U.S. lost eight women's players, including 2017 finalist Venus Williams and U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, Sock was defeated by Japan's Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-1, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-3 in the first round.

Sock, who's never advanced beyond the third round at the Australian Open, was the highest-ranked American man at No. 8 and had his highest seeding at a major.

The American, who retired from a match against Sugita at the Hopman Cup to start the season, had 52 unforced errors compared to just 30 winners in the match.

Sock is coming off a career-best season in which he won his first Masters title in Paris and qualified for the ATP Finals for the first time. He lost his first match of the new season last week in New Zealand, however, and was criticized afterward in the local media for appearing not to give his full effort in the match.

Third-seeded Grigor Dimitrov advanced to the second round at the Australian Open for the seventh time with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 win over qualifier Dennis Novak.

Last year at Melbourne Park, Dimitrov equaled his best Grand Slam result, reaching the semifinals before losing to Rafael Nadal in five sets. He also lost a Wimbledon semifinal in 2014 to Novak Djokovic.

Dimitrov has never lost to a qualifier in seven matches at a Grand Slam tournament, and has dropped only one set.

American actor and comedian Will Ferrell watched the Rod Laver Arena match.

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