Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal, the number 2 seed on the men’s side has reached the second round of the Australian Open beating Australian wild-card entry James Duckworth.

Playing in his first match since September the Spaniard eased through 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours and 15 minutes. Nadal has not played an ATP Tour match since being forced to retire from his semi-finals at the US Open because of the knee injury last September and had surgery on his right ankle in November.

“It is not easy to come back after a lot of months out of competition especially against a player who plays so aggressively”,

Nadal said.

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova, the 2008 Australian Open Champion, with a ruthless 6-0, 6-0 victory over Harriet Dart illustrated why she has the second-best record among the active players in first round matches at the majors.

In her fifteenth trip to Melbourne Park and her 55th Grand Slam Tournament, Sharapova is acutely aware of the toll that the sun and the long matches can have on the player’s ambitions, so she got straight to business and finished within 63 minutes.