Nadal, Sharapova advance in straight sets at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Rafael Nadal has missed a great deal of tennis since last September. He hasn't thought twice. 

The No. 2-seeded Nadal had a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 prevail upon Australian special case passage James Duckworth on Monday in the first round of the Australian Open, his first match back on Rod Laver Arena since he needed to resign amid his quarterfinal coordinate a year ago. 

The 17-time real victor hasn't played since resigning from his elimination round at the U.S. Open on account of knee damage, and afterward had medical procedure on his correct lower leg in November. He likewise pulled back from a tune-up competition in Brisbane in light of a muscle strain in his thigh, essentially as a safety measure, to guarantee he's fit for the season-opening major.

"Difficult to return following a great deal of long periods of rivalry, particularly against a player playing very forceful each shot," Nadal said. "It's exceptionally hard to begin after damage — I know it extremely well. It's exceptionally uncommon to be back." 

Wearing a sleeveless best, he hinted at no any issues against Duckworth. His solitary hiccup came when he served for the match in the ninth session of the third set and was broken at affection. He furnished a proportional payback rapidly, however, to seal his spot in the second round. 

Nadal has just lost twice in the first round at Grand Slams — to Steve Darcis at 2013 Wimbledon, and to Fernando Verdasco here in 2016 — and is planning to be the primary man in the Open time two win each of the four majors something like twice. 

Maria Sharapova was the first of five Australian Open victors to play on Rod Laver Arena on Day 1, beginning with a 6-0, 6-0 prevail upon Harriet Dart. No. 2-positioned Angelique Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open hero, opened with a 6-2, 6-2 prevail upon Polona Hercog. 

Sharapova has the second-best record among dynamic ladies' players in first-round matches at the majors, and she gave a representation of for what reason that is the situation in a 63-minute transfer of Dart. 

The 2008 boss is making her fifteenth excursion to Melbourne Park and her 55th Grand Slam competition, and she's intensely mindful of the toll that the sun and long early matches can have on a player's title aspirations, so she gets directly to business. 

Stung by a first-round misfortune at Wimbledon a year ago, Sharapova said she couldn't stand to feel any compassion for Dart. 

"That is to say, there is no time for that, I'm sorry to learn ... when you're playing the first round of a Grand Slam," said Sharapova, who is as yet feeling torment in her correct shoulder notwithstanding sitting out the finish of last season after the U.S. Open. "I think I was simply centered around not having a frustration.

"I believe it's anything but difficult to be in a position where things are streaming, you know, you're doing all the correct things, she's creation a couple of mistakes, you're agreeable, simple to get self-satisfied, and, you know, lack of concern isn't extraordinary. I was happy that I did the correct things from the earliest starting point till the end." 

Additionally progressing were 2017 U.S. Open boss Sloane Stephens, No. 11 Aryna Sabalenka, No. 19 Caroline Garcia, No. 29 Donna Vekic and No. 31 Petra Martic. 

Danielle Collins progressed to the second round of a noteworthy out of the blue after a 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 prevail upon No. 14-seeded Julia Goerges, who won the title in Auckland to begin the season. 

Katie Boulter earned the qualification of winning the initial 10-point sudden death round under the Australian Open's new framework for choosing sets, and she praised twice. 

Boulter beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-0, 4-6, 7 (6), incorporating 10-6 in the sudden death round. Boulter began celebrating and went to the net when she achieved 7-4 in the sudden death round, overlooking it was certainly not a regular check. 

The new guideline was acquainted with guarantee matches don't get excessively extensive — already the third set in ladies' matches and the fifth set in men's matches at the Australian Open must be chosen by a two-diversion advantage. 

Fifth-seeded Kevin Anderson won his first match at Melbourne Park since 2015 when he beat Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1. Likewise progressing on the men's side were No. 19 Nikoloz Basilashvili, No. 20 Grigor Dimitrov and No. 26 Fernando Verdasco. 

Guarding champions Caroline Wozniacki and Roger Federer were planned to play night coordinates later Monday.