Sharapova shows no sympathy after handing Dart double-bagel

Tennis Podcast Australian Open 2019 preview Rafael Nadal

The towering South African, who has never gone beyond the fourth round in Melbourne, next meets unseeded American Frances Tiafoe, who beat qualifier Prajnesh Gunneswaran 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 6-3.

Isner was seeded No. 9, was a semifinalist at Wimbledon a year ago and had been 9-0 in all-U.S. contests at the Slams.

The 21-year-old Opelka, an inch taller than the 6ft-10in Isner (2.08m), broke the ninth seed's ideal 9-0 winning record against Americans at the Grand Slams in a match featuring 87 aces.

The second set followed the same pattern, with Dart finally put out of her misery trying to save match point when she hit a return wide despite having an open court before her. But he was broken there, missing one backhand followed by a trio of forehands.

Rafael Nadal has missed a lot of tennis since last September.

Big-serving fifth seed Kevin Anderson began his Australian Open campaign with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 win Monday over Adrian Mannarino.

Nadal pulled out of his US Open semi against Juan Martin del Potro due to knee pain before undergoing ankle surgery in November. He withdrew from a warm-up tournament in Brisbane in the first week of the season because of a muscle strain in his thigh.

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"Not easy to come back after a lot of months, especially against a player playing super aggressive on every point", the 32-year-old Spaniard said at the press conference.

Sharapova pounced on the Briton's weak second serve to repeatedly break her opponent, bringing up the first set bagel after 31 minutes. He returned the favor very quickly, though, to seal his spot in the second round.

Nadal, who is bidding to become the first man in the Open Era, and only the third man ever, to win each of the four Grand Slams twice, ran his opponent down with his superior court coverage and ability to hit winners under pressure.

United States number one John Isner was sent crashing out of the first round of the competition by compatriot Reilly Opelka 7-6 (4) 7-6 (6) 6-7 (4) 7-6 (5) in a battle of two of the game's tallest players.

He said he would like to finish his career at Wimbledon, but admitted the Australian Open could be his last tournament.

Fifth seed Kevin Anderson also progressed against Adrian Mannarino, with last year's Wimbledon finalist a 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 victor.

Defending champions Caroline Wozniacki and Roger Federer were scheduled to play night matches later Monday.

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