Ivanovic out as Nadal, Murray win at Australian Open

Melbourne: Fifth-seeded Serbian woman tennis player Ana Ivanovic blamed a loss of rhythm as nerves overtook her in her first round Australian Open loss to a qualifier here while Spaniard Rafael Nadal showed no sign of his persistent back injury as he and Scot Andy Murray both won the men’s singles in straight sets here Monday.

Ivanovic, who was a finalist in Brisbane two weeks ago, started well and continued her good form to run away with the first set in 21 minutes, only to concede the match 6-1, 3-6, 2-6, to world No.142 Lucie Hradeska, reports Xinhua.

“I didn’t really feel like myself out there,” said Ivanovic. “It was really tough for me to find a rhythm a little bit.”

Ivanovic served 10 double faults but she did not solely blame her serving as a reason for the shock loss.

“It was really I think all around the game,” she said.

“I really felt like I couldn’t really put so much power on my serve or the ground strokes. In Brisbane my serve was on such a good level. I really felt like I improved in the off-season.”

Hredecka will next meet unseeded Slovak, Polona Hercog, who beat China’s Wang Qiang 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Rafael Nadal made his return to Grand Slam tennis with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win.

Returning to the court where, last year, he cried while battling through an unsuccessful final, Nadal looked nervous in the opening points against 32-year-old Mihkail Youzhny.

He said coming back from a major injury had affected his confidence.

“At the end you know that you’re not going to be at your 100 percent, so the most important thing when you are coming back is to accept all the challenges,” he said.

But after the initial attack of nerves, his class came to the fore.

A trademark curling forehand around a diving Mihkail Youzhny brought about the early break. From there Nadal found his groove, taking the first set 6-3 with another break of Youzhny’s serve.

In the second, the gap widened to epic proportions as Nadal showed his best tennis to take 18 of the first 22 points and a 4-1 lead.

“After a tough period of time with injuries, (I) hope this match will give me confidence to play well next round,” said Nadal.

Andy Murray reached the second round but not without some difficulty, taken to a third set tie-break against Yuki Bhambri of India.

Murray won 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).