Nadal stumped by Verdasco in five-set thriller

Rafa Nadal was bundled out of the Australian Open first round on Tuesday, toppled by countryman Fernando Verdasco in a five-set marathon that left the centre court crowd stunned and the former world number one shattered.

"When the draw came out and I saw who I was playing I was like 'Well, ok, I just hope to stay out there more than an hour, '" Konta said in a post-match TV interview, apparently as surprised as anyone after her straight sets win over the No. 8-seeded Williams.

No. 5 Rafael Nadal was playing fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in a rematch of the epic semifinal here in 2009. "I think it wasn't my good day but I give her a lot of credit as she played without fear and hit every ball", Halep, who has been struggling with an Achilles injury, told reporters.

Nadal led by two sets to one and then 2-0 in the decider in Rod Laver Arena but Verdasco came roaring back, unleashing an incredible 90 winners en route to a superb victory.

"The match is a tough loss for me, especially because it's not like a year ago when I arrived here playing bad and feeling myself not ready for it", Nadal said.

Catch the 2016 Australia Open live streaming of Nadal vs. Verdasco first round and other matches via TennisTV or visit the tournament's official website for Live Blogs and Aussie Open highlights. "You know, because I don't believe the players are allowed to be sponsored by betting companies, but the tournaments are". "I was just closing the eyes and everything was going in".

After shaking hands with his opponent and the chair umpire, Nadal strode quickly off the court, barely pausing to acknowledge the crowd with a wave. Earlier in the week, Australian Open officials had christened Day 2 of the tournament "C'mon Day" in honour of what could have potentially been the final match of Hewitt's career. Seventh seed Angelique Kerber had to save a match point to stave off a fourth shock, rallying to beat Japan's Misaki Doi 6-7(4) 7-6(6) 6-3, while third seed Garbine Muguruza beat Estonian Anett Kontaveit 6-0 6-4. - Reuters pic, January 19, 2016.Rafael Nadal did his best to shrug off his latest Grand Slam setback on Tuesday and pledged to fight on - despite the "crazy", go-for-broke tennis now played by some of his rivals.

Czech qualifier Radek Stepanek has become the oldest man to win a match at the Australian Open in more than 38 years. "The real thing is I was not enough aggressive with my forehand during the whole match".

The second-seeded Murray blasted past young German Alexander Zverev 6-1 6-2 6-3 to join in-form Canadian Milos Raonic as an early day-two victor at Melbourne Park.

"More than half" of the players, who include singles and doubles Grand Slam champions, are at the Australian Open in Melbourne, according to BuzzFeed.

A two-time quarter-finalist at Melbourne Park, Halep was then gifted an early break in the second set.

Williams, 35, was the oldest player in the women's draw but Konta said it would be "silly" to focus on the American's age.

Asked if she might need surgery, she added, "I'm totally - I don't think I would need surgery at all".

Rajeev Ram beat No. 11 Kevin Anderson and Gilles Muller defeated No. 20 Fabio Fognini.


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