Rafael Nadal advances in Australia after opponent retires due to injury

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Melbourne, Australia (4E Sports) – World No. 1 Rafael Nadal advanced to the second round of the Australian Open after Bernard Tomic retired with a left leg injury in their opening match Tuesday at Rod Laver Arena.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Tomic, who lost the first set, 6-4, before he retired. “This opportunity I had to play against Rafa was huge for me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t compete.”

Nadal, who is chasing 14th major title, will take on 17-year-old Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, who defeated Igor Sijsling, 7-6(4), 0-6, 7-6(3), 6-2, in his Grand Slam debut.

Third seed Andy Murray also advanced after making short work of Japan’s Go Soeda, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3, in just 87 minutes. He next faces Frenchman Vincent Millot, who defeated Wayne Odesnik 7-5, 4-6, 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-3.

With new coach Stefan Edberg watching from his box, Roger Federer dismissed 21-year-old Australian wild card James Duckworth, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. He faces against Blaz Kavcic, who advanced when Radek Stepanek retired in the fourth set of their first-round match.

Gael Monfils, also advanced, defeating Ryan Harrison, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, in one hour and 51 minutes. He goes on to face American Jack Sock, who fought past Tobias Kamke, 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-2, 6-4.

French No. 18 seed Gilles Simon saved seven match points in a marathon 6-7(4), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 16-14 win over Daniel Brands. Simon goes on to face Marin Cilic, who rallied from two sets down to beat Marcel Granollers, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2.

Andreas Seppi ousted Lleyton Hewitt, 7-6(4), 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 7-5, while world No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga advanced with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 win over Italian Filippo Volandri.

Tsonga will take on Thomaz Bellucci, who was leading, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5), when German Julien Reister retired.

Milos Raonic defeated Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver, 7-6(2), 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, while Grigor Dimitrov, rallied from a set down to beat American Bradley Klahn, 6-7(7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.

Dimitrov goes on to face Chinese Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu, who defeated countryman Jimmy Wang, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.

The 13th-seeded John Isner, who beat Lu for the Auckland title Saturday, retired from his match against Slovakian Martin Klizan with a foot injury after losing the first two sets, 6-2, 7-6(6)

On the women’s side, third seed Maria Sharapova defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 6-3, 6-4, to advance to the next round.

Fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska won her opener as well, overcoming tough challenge from Yulia Putintseva, 6-0, 5-7, 6-2.

Other notable winners were No. 2 Victoria Azarenka, who made it past Johanna Larsson, 7-6(2), 6-2; No. 8 Jelena Jankovic, who defeated Misaki Doi, 6-1, 6-2; No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki, who beat Lourdes Domínguez Lino, 6-0, 6-2.

Also making it to the next round were No.11 Simona Halep, No. 13 Sloane Stephens, Elina Svitolina, Marina Erakovic and Garbiñe Muguruza.

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