Kerber sets up Sharapova clash of the champions

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic gestures during a press conference at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne Australia Saturday Jan. 13 2018

She broke Sevastova to open the second set, but Sevastova broke back immediately. Bautista Agut claimed the title in Auckland on Sunday but once again failed to translate his tour form to the Grand Slams, where he has never been beyond the fourth round.

AUSTRALIAN Open officials have declared the "health of players is of paramount concern" despite not initiating its extreme heat policy.

The 30-year-old was handed a two-year drugs ban after testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 edition of the opening Grand Slam of the season.

Her fifteen month suspension is still not fully in the rearview.

Sharapova has already sparked controversy after she carried the women's trophy onto court for the tournament's draw ceremony at the Rod Laver Arena last week.

"I look forward to these matches".

Six-time Melbourne champion Djokovic had a much tougher time, coming through a four-setter against Gael Monfils in a thorough examination after being out for six months with an elbow injury.

British tennis star Johanna Konta has advanced to the second round of the Australian Open, breezing to a straight-sets win over Madison Brengle. Really tough conditions, brutal, especially for the first hour and a half.

Her second-round win was a hugely satisfying one, with the Russian overcoming 14th seed Anastasija Sevastova, who had beaten her at the US Open, 6-1 7-6 (7/4).

Top-seeded Simona Halep overcame an injured left ankle to beat Australian wild-card entry Destanee Aiava 7-6 (5), 6-1. If prize money from Grand Slam tournaments is included in the figures, the total prize money for men increased from $104.2m (£75.7m) in 2008 to $197.7m (£100m).

Imaz stayed too, but maybe with a role more suited to helping him relax rather than being the main focus of his tennis tactics.

"Now I think the work pays off and it's just the beginning of the year".

"Happy to be playing tennis again like 2016", said Kerber, who planned an ice bath before a relaxed dinner out in Melbourne to mark the occasion. It wasn't a completely dominant performance, but Federer had the match well in hand throughout. She's lost in the first round of the tournament for the past two years, to Shuai Zhang and Shelby Rogers respectively. Remarkably, she has not won a match anywhere since, extending her losing streak to eight with a 2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2 setback against 34th-ranked Zhang Shuai of China on Monday. "He has set the standard".

"I'm telling you I was dying on the court for 40 minutes".

He loves the energy of Hisense Arena - dubbed the "People's Court" - and is known to feed off the crowd.

In the men's Australian Open singles final last year, Roger Federer's shots were, on average, 60 milliseconds faster to reach the net than Nadal's. There is minimal shade for players and spectators on outside courts.

'Gael is one of the best athletes in our sport. "But even with the ice towel, the water, I think my body was super warm". No energy at all in his legs to try and serve. "I played well. I think I deserve it, too". "I played better than I thought might happen and, most important, I played without pain".

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