Was it for Andy Murray? The two-time Wimbledon and Olympic champion from Great Britain dropped out in the first round of the Australian Open despite great fight. The 31-year-old lost to Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in five sets of 4: 6, 4: 6, 7: 6, 7: 6 and 2: 6. After the first two sets, Murray looked like the sure loser, but then increased and decided with great nerves, the passes three and four in each tiebreak for themselves. After the 2: 2 set compensation, the Briton clenched his fists and shouted his joy – as well as his mother and brother in the stands. In the final fifth sentence, however, Murray went out of power. He took two breaks. When Murray hit the pitch at 1: 5 and the spectators cheered him on euphorically, tears of emotion ran down the Briton’s cheeks. After more than four hours playing time, 30-year-old Spaniard Bautista Agut transformed his second match point. “I gave everything today,” Murray said in a broken voice. “I loved playing here.”

In an emotional press conference prior to the year’s first Grand Slam tournament, Murray had announced his retirement this year due to ongoing hip pain . “I’m not sure I’ll be in pain for another four or five months,” Murray had said. “I want to make it to Wimbledon and then stop, but I’m not sure I’ll do that.”

The second seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal, however, survived the first round without difficulty. The 32-year-old defeated Australian James Duckworth in straight sets of 6: 4, 6: 3 and 7: 5. Defending champion Roger Federer also won his opening match with a solid performance. The Swiss winner of the past two years won the duel with the Uzbek Denis Istomin 6: 3, 6: 4 and 6: 4 for themselves. The 37-year-old Federer would be in a further triumph with seven titles sole record champion in Melbourne. 

For three German tennis pros, however, the opening round in Melbourne was already the final destination – after four-set defeats. Jan-Lennard Struff lost to Australian Matthew Ebden, Peter Gojowczyk to Russian Karen Khachanov and qualifier Rudolf Molleker to Argentinian Diego Sebastian Schwartzman.

Kerber continues without effort

In the women’s Wimbledonsiegerin Angelique Kerber moved sovereign into the second round. Second in the World Ranking was her opening match against Slovenian Polona Hercog in straight sets 6: 2, 6: 2. Kerber allowed only four breakballs, which defended them all sovereign. “Overall, it was a good, consistent match,” said the 30-year-old. “It took me a bit to find my rhythm in the beginning, the first laps are always difficult for me and in the second set I felt a bit liberated.” Next opponent of Germany’s “athlete of the year 2018” is the Brazilian qualifier Beatriz Haddad Maia.

Off for Görges and Petkovic

Julia Görges
Disappointed Julia Görges

Julia Görges was surprisingly eliminated . The German number two defeated Danielle Collins from the USA in three sets with 6: 2, 6: 7 (5: 7) and 4: 6. In the second set Görges already struck for the match win and was only two balls away from the move to the next round, but did not take this chance. After 2:24 hours, the first-round knockout round of the Wimbledon semi-finalist 2018 was confirmed. “It’s clear that the disappointment is there – in the first two sets I showed a good match, but unfortunately it was out of my hands,” said Görges. Just over a week ago, the 30-year-old had won the preparation tournament in Auckland on New Zealand . Opponent Collins had not won a single match at one of the four major tennis tournaments so far.

Also for Andrea Petkovic the Australian Open are already over. The 31-year-old had obviously circulatory problems against the Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu and gave up at the score of 7: 6 (7: 3), 3: 4. She lay for several minutes on the square and then could only sit upright on a chair with someone else’s help. When Petkovic could leave, she congratulated Begu and did not continue the game.

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