The Latest at the Australian Open: Rafa wins in three sets

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts during his first round match against Marcos Giron of the U.S. at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022.

    Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts during his first round match against Marcos Giron of the U.S. at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. Associated Press

  • Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts during her first round match against Camila Osorio of Colombia at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022.

    Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts during her first round match against Camila Osorio of Colombia at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. Associated Press

  • Fans take a selfie with a photo of defending champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia ahead of first round matches at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. Djokovic was deported from Australia Sunday, Jan 16, after losing a bid to stay in the country to defend his Australian Open title despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19.

    Fans take a selfie with a photo of defending champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia ahead of first round matches at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. Djokovic was deported from Australia Sunday, Jan 16, after losing a bid to stay in the country to defend his Australian Open title despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19. Associated Press

 
 
Posted1/17/2022 7:00 AM

MELBOURNE, Australia -- The Latest on Monday from the Australian Open at Melbourne Park (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

 

Rafael Nadal has renewed his bid for a record 21st Grand Slam singles title with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over American Marcos Giron.

Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are tied with 20 major singles titles each. Federer is not playing due to his lengthy recovery from right knee surgery, and nine-time champion Djokovic was deported from Australia on Sunday due to problems with his visa, his COVID-19 vaccination status, and a court hearing which didn't go his way.

Nadal is also bidding to become the second man in the Open Era - and only the fourth man - to win each of the four Grand Slam singles titles twice. Djokovic completed the double by winning his second title at Roland Garros in 2021. Australians Roy Emerson and Rod Laver are the only other men to have won each Grand Slam on two or more occasions.

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4:30 p.m.

A back injury has forced ninth-seeded Ons Jabeur to withdraw from the Australian Open before her scheduled first-round singles match. The injury forced the Tunisian, who reached the third round at Melbourne Park last year, to retire from her quarterfinal at a Sydney lead-up event last week.

'I tried everything to be ready and I thought I could have recovered in time to play here,' Jabeur said. 'Unfortunately, the pain is still very present and playing in such conditions could jeopardize my whole season.'

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She was replaced in the main draw by Romania's Irina Bara, a lucky loser from the qualifying tournament.

China's Zheng Saisai was another late withdrawal on the Open's first day. She was replaced by Nao Hibino of Japan.

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2:30 p.m.

Defending champion Naomi Osaka has had a relatively trouble-free 6-3, 6-3 win over Camila Osorio in her first-round match on Rod Laver Arena. The four-time Grand Slam singles champion won the first five games of the match before Osorio hit back.

Osaka advances to the second round against either Dayana Yastremska or Madison Brengle.

Former No. 1 Osaka slid down the rankings last year after taking time out following her withdrawal at the French Open. She is 13th at the Australian Open, where she won last year and in 2019.

Osorio is ranked 50th in the world and was making her main draw debut at Melbourne Park. Next up on the same court is Rafael Nadal's match against American Marcos Giron.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

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1:20 p.m.

Fifth-seeded Maria Sakkari beat Tatjana Maria 6-4, 7-6 (2) in the first match completed on the main show court in the first Grand Slam tournament of the year.

She said the experience was 'weird . . . in a good way.'

'I was a little bit stressed, opening the tournament on this wonderful court,' she said. 'It's a privilege to have my first match here.'

Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Belinda Bencic beat Kristina Mladenovic 6-4, 6-3, and 15th-seeded Elina Svitolina had a 6-1, 7-6 (4) win over Fiona Ferro in other early results.

Women's defending champion Naomi Osaka was scheduled to play the second match on Rod Laver Arena, followed by Rafael Nadal.

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11 a.m.

Showing evidence of vaccination has been a requirement for all those entering Melbourne Park on Day 1 of the Australian Open, the morning after nine-time champion Novak Djokovic was deported for not meeting the country's strict COVID-19 vaccination rules.

A security official with a loud speaker reminded people queuing outside the complex that hosts the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year to have their proof of vaccination ready for inspection and added, 'oh, a ticket would be handy, too!'

The Australian Open begins under mostly cloudy skies with a threat of rain showers.

Fifth-seeded Maria Sakkari is playing Tatjana Maria in the opening match on Rod Laver Arena. Women's defending champion Naomi Osaka was scheduled to play the second match on the tournament's main court, followed by Rafael Nadal. Women's top seed Ash Barty had a night match.

Nadal is seeking a men's record 21st Grand Slam singles title. He is tied with Djokovic and Roger Federer on 20. Djokovic was a late withdrawal because he's not vaccinated and failed to have his visa cancellation overturned in a Federal Court hearing on Sunday. Federer is still recovering from a knee injury.

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More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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