MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Day one at the 2012 Australian Open saw most of the seeds advance with the biggest upset of the day saw No 22 seed Fernando Verdasco beaten by young Australian Bernard Tomic in five sets.
Nadal, Federer sail through, dicuss disagreement
World No. 2 Rafael Nadal dismissed Alex Kuznetsov 6-4, 6-1, 6-1, despite a heavily wrapped right knee.
Nadal discussed the reason for his knee wrap, “I was sitting on a chair in the hotel. I felt like a crack on the knee, but is nothing really strange. Happens lot of time with articulation, movement, articulation. Nothing strange.
“I stand up. I felt the knee a little bit strange. I moved the leg like this two times to try to find the feeling. After the second time, the knee stays with an unbelievable pain completely straight. I really couldn’t move the knee like this (indicating just a little bit). I have no movement on the knee.
“I did all the tests. Came here for ultrasound. Went to hospital for MRI
“And, seriously, yesterday during the evening I wasn’t hundred percent sure I would have chance to play, because with the movement of that knee I felt that I will not be able to play.
“I did a lot of treatment. The MRI was positive. Nothing wrong shows the MRI. So that’s always a lot of calm. But still the knee, you know, with the pain. “
Federer advanced to the second round by winning an evening match in Rod Laver arena defeating Alex Kudryavtsev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2. Federer told media that his back was fine and addressed reports about Nadal disagreeing with the Swiss on ATP issues.
“I kind of heard it, you know. I saw him after he said the comments ‑ Sunday was it, I guess? I saw him Sunday afternoon. I asked him how the press went. I didn’t know he spoke to the press.
“He said, Yeah, it was fine. Mentioned a few things here and there. I was, Okay, whatever. Then I read the comments. So things are fine between us, you know. I have no hard feelings towards him.
“It’s been a difficult last few months in terms of politics within the ATP, said Federer. “I guess, trying to find a new CEO and chairman. That can get frustrating sometimes.
“He’s mentioned many times how he gets a bit tired and frustrated through the whole process, and I shared that with him. It’s normal. But for me, obviously nothing changes in terms of our relationship. I’m completely cool and relaxed about it. He seemed the same way ‑ or at least I hope so.
Earlier in the day, Nadal addressed this with media:
“I always had fantastic relationship with Roger. I still have fantastic relationship with Roger. That’s what should be, in my opinion. Don’t create crazy histories about what I said yesterday, please.
“Just I said, because, you know, we can have different views about how the tour need to work. That’s all.
“I do not talk anymore. During the two weeks, you can try very hard to asking me a lot of things. Yesterday, you know, I started, and I say I don’t want to talk anymore about this. Finally I talked to much ‑ as usual. That’s not gonna happen again.
“I advise all of you. You can try hard, but I gonna talk about tennis. If I am here two weeks, if I am here two days, I gonna have less work.”
Upset Special for Young Australian
“Today wasn’t fun, it was torture,” said Tomic after his 4-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 victory over Fernando Verdasco. “It’s very hard to speak out there after the match. It was probably one of the best matches for me that I played. Looking back to something like Wimbledon, I was down two sets to love and a break as well; won that in five sets, I think, in the second round.”
“You know, I haven’t played a lot of these five‑setters. So being not that fit, it’s tough to put your mind to come through that, and I don’t know how I did it today.
“One of those days. I’m so happy with myself.
“It’s very hard in that position when you’re down two sets to love and having three set points in that second set.”
As for Verdasco, “Well, it was very hot out there,” said the Spaniard. “The two first sets was hard. I won the first two sets and I saw that he was, like, down in the beginning of the third, with the head down, like don’t even going in the first game for a few balls.
“But I think he serve well in the third set. The serve keep him in the match. And then I start feeling a little bit bad on the court. I think that after he won the third set he got confidence, and I didn’t really feel good till the fifth set.
“I start feeling much better and playing better in the beginning of the fifth set, but I think that he was already with much more confidence and believing that he can win.
“I think that he played also well and he deserve and he was fighting all the time. He was also playing well, so… I can’t really say much more.”
Leading Ladies advance
Top seed and World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki cruised past Australian Anastasia Rodionova 6-2, 6-1 in the evening session.
Defending Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters was tested in the first set by Portugal’s Maria Joao Koehler but closed out the match 7-5, 6-1.
“It was hard kind of to read her serve a little bit and to get used to a player that you’ve never played against and you don’t really know or have seen play before, note the Belgian. “I really felt like I had to find my rhythm in there. I felt that once I got it going that I was in charge most of the time. That was good.”
Third seed Victoria Azarenka destroyed Great Britain’s Heather Watson 6-1, 6-0. Well, the score is easy” said Azarenka. “To actually play the match, it’s never easy, you know, especially for me coming here only Saturday. You know, only hit once before the match. First time I actually hit on center court was today in the morning. That’s why I came earlier, you know, to try to feel the court.
Despite the score, Azarenka thinks Watson is a very good player, “She probably maybe was a little bit overwhelming, you know, playing on center court. First match for her as well, and she’s still young.
But I think I also started a little bit rusty. I came back strong and kept my composure all the way through the end of the match. I really put a lot of pressure on her.
So I don’t think she really managed that well today, but I think she has a great skills. You know, she’s very good mover. She has a good serve.
Today was a little bit difficult for me, as well. It was difficult to serve with a little breeze of wind. But I think she has a good potential.”
China’s Li Na the fifth seed had a straightforward victory 6-3, 6-1 over Ksenia Pervak. Li talked about the hot conditions on court: “I was feeling end of the first set really heat on the court. Also I was feeling no air. I couldn’t breathe. Like I was feeling like, What’s going on?
“So, yeah, but so lucky I win so easy in the second set..
“Yeah, for me, just one thing. Round by round, step by step.”
Americans Fish, Isner, Querrey and Young move on
Top ranked American Mardy Fish moved on with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Gilles Muller.
“He’s a guy that takes care of his serve relatively well,” said Fish. I played well the first time I played him, too. I broke him three times in that match, as well.
“It was hot, windy, you know, the balls were flying pretty good. So I like my chances in those types of conditions.
“I hadn’t played a real match coming in yet. This is definitely the most comfortable I felt down here, for sure.”
Looking at the 2012 season“I want to get in the top 10, that’s for sure, said John Isner after his straight set 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(1) win over Benjamin Mitchell. “I think it’s attainable, a very attainable goal for me. That’s really my main focus.”
Sam Querrey defeated Kenny de Schepper 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 and Donald Young won a five-set match with Peter Gojowczyk 6-1, 6-2, 4-6, 1-6, 6-2.
(1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Anastasia Rodionova (AUS) 62 61
(3) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Heather Watson (GBR) 61 60
(5) Li Na (CHN) d. Ksenia Pervak (KAZ) 63 61
(8) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 67(10) 64 62
(10) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) d. Laura Pous-Tio (ESP) 61 63
(11) Kim Clijsters (BEL) d. (Q) Maria Joao Koehler (POR) 75 61
(13) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. (Q) Laura Robson (GBR) 62 60
(16) Peng Shuai (CHN) d. (WC) Aravane Rezai (FRA) 63 64
(20) Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) d. (Q) Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 46 63 62
(22) Julia Goerges (GER) d. Polona Hercog (SLO) 63 76(3)
(26) Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) d. Eva Birnerova (CZE) 63 63
(32) Petra Cetkovska (CZE) d. Ayumi Morita (JPN) 36 61 75
 R Nadal (ESP) d A Kuznetsov (USA) 64 61 61
 R Federer (SUI) d A Kudryavtsev (RUS) 75 62 62
 T Berdych (CZE) d A Ramos (ESP) 75 46 62 63
 M Fish (USA) d G Muller (LUX) 64 64 62
 N Almagro (ESP) d L Kubot (POL) 16 75 63 75
 J del Potro (ARG) d A Mannarino (FRA) 26 61 75 64
 A Dolgopolov (UKR) d G Jones (AUS) 16 46 61 61 62
 J Isner (USA) d B Mitchell (AUS) 64 64 76(1)
 F Lopez (ESP) d L Mayer (ARG) 76(5) 63 76(2)
 S Wawrinka (SUI) d B Paire (FRA) 61 61 75
 K Anderson (RSA) d F Nielsen (DEN) 61 62 64
(Q) Nina Bratchikova (RUS) d. (19) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 63 16 62
Christina McHale (USA) d. (24) Lucie Safarova (CZE) 62 64
Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) d. (28) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 75 62
B Tomic (AUS) d  F Verdasco (ESP) 46 67(3) 64 62 75
P Kohlschreiber(GER) d  J Monaco (ARG) 75 46 63 67(4) 60
L Lacko (SVK) d  I Ljubicic (CRO) 36 46 63 64 64
I Karlovic (CRO) d  J Melzer (AUT) 76(3) 75 63
Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News
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