Rafael Nadal vs Leonardo Mayer

He is feeling as well and as fit as he could expect to be just two weeks into the new season and much as he tried to play down his status, he knows well enough that his chances are looking the rosiest as the tournament begins. It included Serena Williams's coach Patrick Mouratoglou, who advocated a change to reward those who performed well in the Grand Slams for their consistency level.

Top-seeded Simona Halep overcame an injured left ankle to beat Australian wildcard entry Destanee Aiava 7-6 (5), 6-1 in the first round.

The first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open commenced in Melbourne today with the very best of the best in action, fighting it out on the court for the highest honours.

The world No 1, and finalist in Melbourne previous year, raced past his Dominican opponent 6-1 6-1 6-1 in one hour and 34 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena. Nadal, a beaten finalist in Melbourne previous year, downed Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic 6-1, 6-1, 6-1.

She slumped out to Hungary's Timea Babos 7-6 (7/4), 6-2.

"I'm waiting for the bananas", she told chair umpire Fergus Murphy when asked what she was doing.

Vandeweghe had lost a tough tie-breaker to Babos and didn't take the court for the second set. "But I feel good", he said.

The world number one faces Argentina's Leonardo Mayer in an afternoon match on Rod Laver Arena on what is forecast to be a hot Melbourne day.

After his 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 first-round victory over Estrella Burgos on Monday, Nadal admitted that he was yet to hit peak rhythm after recovering from a knee injury that kept him out of the Brisbane International.

At every Australian Open tennis great Ken Rosewall writes a heartfelt letter and leaves it for Roger Federer in the players' locker room.

"[In the off-season] I just work".

The veteran champion went into monosyllabic mode afterwards, unable to say when or where she will play next. I think it's the players.

The clear, but unspoken, message was that nobody does it better than Federer.

"I knew before the match that it's not going to be easy". Federer is coming off an extraordinary 2017, when he won a fifth Australian Open title and a record eighth at Wimbledon, and the way things are shaping there could be yet more glory with his main threats scrambling to be ready.

Amongst the top ten seeds Grigor Dimitrov, Marin Cilic and Pablo Carreno Busta all won their opening encounters and so did Caroline Wozniacki, Elina Svitolina and Jelena Ostapenko. That's a positive thing for me.

  • Stacy Allen