Rafael Nadal’s grandslam woes continued as Fernando Verdasco caused a major upset on day two of the Australian Open, as the fifth seed crashed out at the first round.
The former world number one crashed out of Wimbledon at the second round and the US Open at the third but this was just his second first round exit in his career as Verdasco sent his fellow Spaniard packing with a 7-6(8/6) 4-6 3-6 7-6(7/4) 6-2 victory.
There was to be no early exit for Andy Murray as the British number one comfortably overcame German teenager Alexander Zverev in straight sets 6-1 6-2 6-3.
French Open champion Stan Wawrinka overcame an early scare in his opening match in Melbourne as the Swiss man dug deep to fend off the challenge of Dmitry Tursunov, who had to retire due to a hip injury with the Russian trailing 7-6 (7/2) 6-3.
Australian Bernard Tomic was made to work for his spot in the second round as the 16th seed had to come from a set down against Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin to win 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 6-4 6-4.
However the comeback of the day went to 21st seed Victor Troicki as the Serbian battled back from two sets down to fend of the tough challenge of Spaniard Daniel Munoz De La Nava to emerge from a five set thriller 4-6 4-6 6-1 7-6 (7/4) 6-3.
It was all to easy for Spain’s Feliciano Lopez as Briton Dan Evans first appearance in the Aussie Open finals ended in a 6-1 6-0 6-4 thrashing at the hands of the 18th seed.
It was also a comfortable day at the office for Lopez’ compatriot David Ferrer as the eight seed saw off Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk in straight sets 6-4 6-4 6-2.
Canadian Milos Raonic also sailed through to the next round with a 6-1 6-4 6-4 straight sets win over Frenchman Lucas Pouille, but South African Kevin Anderson is out as the 11th seed retired while trailing 6-7 (4/7) 7-6 (7/4) 3-6 0-3 to American Rajeev Ram.
Lleyton Hewitt kept his final Australian Open appearance alive as the 34-year-old overcame a tough challenge from fellow Aussie James Duckworth in straight sets 7-6 (7/5) 6-2 6-4.
British player Johanna Konta pulled off a major upset on the women’s side of things, as Venus Williams crashed out of the Australian Open with Konta pulling off one of her greatest victories with a superb 6-2 6-2 win over American.
There was also an early exit for second seed Simona Halep as Chinese qualifier Zhang Shuai stunned the Romanian 6-4 6-3, while American Madsion Keys overcame an early scare to defeat Zarina Diyas of Ukraine 7-6 (7.5) 6-1.
Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza encountered no problems as she sailed into the second round with a 6-0 6-4 win over Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit, while Ana Ivanovic also enjoyed a comfortable 6-2 6-3 win over American Tammi Patterson.
Sabine Liscki is also through to the next round as the German enjoyed a 6-4 6-4 win over Petra Cetkovska of Czech Republic, while Russian Ekaterina Makarova easily saw off Australian Maddison Inglis 6-3 6-0.
Viktora Azarenka also encountered no problems on her first outing as the Belarussian thrashed Alsion Van Uytvanack 6-0 6-0, while Ukraine’s Elina Stivolina also booked a spot in the next round with a 6-3 6-3 victory over USA’s Victoria Duval.