Sharapova doles out dreaded double bagel to Dart

Sharapova doles out dreaded double bagel to Dart

Sharapova doles out dreaded double bagel to Dart

2008 champion Maria Sharapova looked about as good as you can in hammer British qualifier Harriet Dart 6-0, 6-0.

Dart, who described Sharapova as her idol before the match, lost in the first round at Wimbledon a year ago after being given a wild card in her only previous Grand Slam singles appearance.

Asked if she felt sorry for her young, beaten rival, Sharapova, who lost in the first round at Wimbledon previous year, said: "There's no time for that when you're playing the first round of a Grand Slam".

On a day when an injured Andy Murray likely played his last match at the Australian Open in a stirring five-setter - his first first-round loss at a Grand Slam tournament in 11 years - Nadal was circumspect about his progress.

"I love what I do, I love competing and challenging myself to get better", she said.

Rafael Nadal, who won his only Australian title in 2009, was set to play James Duckworth, followed by 2016 victor Angelique Kerber against Polona Hercog.

Fifth-seeded Sloane Stephens ended a three-match losing streak in first-round matches at Melbourne Park with a 6-4, 6-2 win over fellow American Taylor Townsend.

"You've got to come out here and win the match".

Rafael Nadal didn't have any problems against one of the home players, James Duckworth.

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"I'm just excited. I think it's a positive to be here as the defending champion".

The 17-time grand slam champion impressed in his first appearance since the US Open, winning 6-4 6-3 7-5.

Swiss maestro Federer, seeded three, has won the last two Australian Opens and is gunning for a record seventh crown and 21st Grand Slam title.

Asked if she felt empathy for the 22-year-old, Sharapova, who registered back-to-back double bagels in Melbourne in 2013, didn't flinch.

Sabalenka, who is one of the most improved players on the women's circuit had Anna Kalinskaya in front of her for her round one match and she raced off to a 6-1 win in the first set.

Caroline Wozniacki opened her title defense with a strong 6-3, 6-4 win over Alison Van Uytvanck.

It was high stakes when ninth-seeded John Isner lost 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5) to No. 97-ranked Reilly Opelka in a match featuring two of the tallest players on tour. She went on to beat Russia's Ekaterina Makarova 6-0, 4-6, 7-6 (10/6).

Nadal will hope to catch everyone's attention in his second-round match against another Australian - Matt Ebden - on Wednesday.

On the court, Nadal, 32, showcased his new serve during a 6-4 6-3 7-5 victory over the Australian wildcard in warm weather on Rod Laver Arena.

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