(January 14, 2014) On a day which saw soaring temperatures, the Australian Open saw top seeds advance on day two of the tennis’ first major of the year. Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Juan Martin Del Potro, Maria Sharapova and defending champion Victoria Azarenka moved into the second round despite temperatures which went over 42 Celsius (108 Fahrenheit).
In addition to the heat, the tournament was beset by retirements, not linked to the heat – six in all which included top American John Isner (ankle) the 13th seed, 12 seed Tommy Haas (shoulder) and 21st seed Philipp Kohlschreiber who withdrew before play, Radek Stepanek (neck).
Nadal was only on the court for a set up 6-4 when his opponent Australian Bernard Tomic retired with a groin injury.
“I know how tough is this situation, I had the same a few years ago at this tournament,” Nadal said. “Since the beginning, I saw a little bit he had some problems on the leg.”
“It was sad,” Tomic said. It’s unfortunate. You know, this opportunity I had to play against Rafa was huge for me. Could have used a lot of it.
“Unfortunately, I couldn’t compete. It was very difficult for me to say sorry to the crowd. I don’t think they quite knew what was wrong with me.”
Federer began his record 57th consecutive major tournament with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Australian wild-card James Duckworth.
Just over a week after beating Federer in Brisbane, Former Lleyton Hewitt fell in his home slam in five grueling sets to No. 24-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy
Men’s seeds advancing included No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 11 Milos Raonic, No. 16 Kei Nishikori, No. 22 Grigor Dimitrov and No. 31 Fernando Verdasco.
On the women’s side No. 5 Agnieszka Radwanzka, No. 8 Jelena Jankovic, No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 11 Simona Halep, No. 13 Sloane Stephens, No. 16 Carla Suarez Navarro, and No. 20 Dominika Cibulkova.
In the women’s upset of the day, No. 19 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova fell 6-3, 6-3 to Elina Svitolina.