Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray safely went through to the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday but Andy Murray had to dig deep as American Ryan Harrison provided a tough test for the British no.1.
Andy Murray started the match slowly and he was broken in the fifth game of the first set which led to Harrison taking the first set 6-4. Nevertheless, Murray recovered quickly and he eventually outclassed the aggressive American in a four set victory, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. Murray will play Edouard Roger-Vasselin on Thursday after the Frenchman beat Xavier Malisse.
Murray admitted afterwards that he had to “dig deep” to secure his place in the second round.”He came out playing great tennis, going for his shots and hitting big,” said the Scot. We had a few long rallies and he made me do a lot of running. I’ll need to make sure in my next match that I play closer to the baseline. He [Harrison] is very good already and he’s getting better. I started to play better towards the end. I had a few nerves early on. You want to play your best tennis towards the end of the tournament so that’s what I’ll try and do.”
Champion Djokovic produced a superb display as he destroyed Paolo Lorenzi of Italy, 6-2, 6-0, 6-0 in an hour and 32 minutes to seal a meeting in the second round against Colombian Santiago Giraldo.
“It was a great performance for my first official match of the 2012 season,” said champion Djokovic. “It’s great to come back to Melbourne; I have great memories here. Nowadays I’m a more complete player. I feel I know what to do on court. I’m physically stronger, move better, have improved my strokes and serve better – that gives me a lot of confidence.”
Former World No.1 Andy Roddick had a routine victory over Robin Haase, winning 6-3 6-4 6-1 while fifth seed David Ferrer beat Rui Machado 6-1 6-4 6-2, and next plays Ryan Sweeting. In other men’s news, seeds Janko Tipsarevic, Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet, Alex Bogomolov Jr and Alexandr Dolgopolov all went through on Tuesday.
The big shock of the day in the women’s singles was sixth seed Sam Stosur getting knocked out in the first round by Sorana Cirstea of Romania , 7-6 (7-2) 6-3. Home favourite Stosur struggled in the heat of the Rod Laver Arena and she never looked comfortably throughout the match.
“I am extremely disappointed,” said the Australian. “It’s certainly not what I wanted, not just this tournament but the whole [Australian] summer. I think it was one of those matches where I wasn’t taking charge and she was playing super aggressive. I really, really wanted to do well here and I did everything I could to try to give myself a good opportunity. But it obviously didn’t happen.”
New women’s No.1 Petra Kvitova easily sailed into the next round of the Australian Open, beating Vera Dushevina, 6-2, 6-0. Maria Sharapova safely negotiated her path to round two, dropping just one game in her victory over Argentine Dulko, 6-0, 6-1. Number 14 seed Sabrine Lisicki of Germany suffered a scare by dropping the second set but she eventually beat Stefanie Voegele 6-2 4-6 6-4.
Seventh seed Vera Zvonareva won in three sets against Alexandra Dulgheru and ninth seed Mariion Bartoli beat Virginie Razzano 7-5 6-0. Other winners in the women’s singles were Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic and home favourite Jelena Dokic who all advanced to round two on Tuesday.