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Ashleigh Barty

Ashleigh Barty and Rafael Nadal sail through to Australian Open round two

Ashleigh Barty and Rafael Nadal are through to the second round of the Australian Open after impressive performances on day two, but it was a bad day for the British number ones, as Johanna Konta and Dan Evans both exited.

World No 1 Barty, making her first Grand Slam appearance since the semi-finals of this event last year, took just 45 minutes to whitewash Montenegrin Danka Kovinic 6-0, 6-0, winning 50 of the 60 points in the match.

The 2009 Australian Open champion Nadal also came through his encounter unscathed, beating Serbian Laslo Djere in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena.

In the battle of the Brits, Cameron Norrie stunned in-form British No 1 Evans 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 to record his first-ever main draw victory in Melbourne.

Evans looked exhausted and clearly feeling the efforts of his ATP win in Melbourne on Sunday, but Norrie was excellent throughout.

And it was a day of disaster for the British number ones, as 2016 Australian Open semi-finalist Konta was forced to retire due to a hip injury despite taking the first set 6-4 against Sloveniaโ€™s Kaja Juvan.

Women’s fourth seed Sofia Kenin started her title defence in rather unconvincing fashion, labouring to a straight-sets victory over wildcard and World No 133 Madison Inglis in two close sets, 7-5, 6-4.

Fellow fourth seed Daniil Medvedev cruised past Canadian Vasek Pospisil, facing just one break point on his way to a crushing 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 victory, whilst Stefanos Tsitsipas was equally dominant against 36-year-old Gilles Simon, beating the Frenchman 6-1, 6-2, 6-1.

World No 5 Elena Svitolina also booked her place in the second round against promising youngster Marie Bouzkova.

Despite facing a set point in the second set, the Ukrainian eventually prevailed 6-3, 7-6.

British hopes in the womenโ€™s draw now lie solely with Heather Watson who beat Kristyna Pliskova 7-6, 7-6, as Francesca Jones succumbed to Shelby Rogers 6-4, 6-1.

Konta and Evans were not the only seeds to be eliminated on day two, with two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka losing to Jessica Pegula 7-5 6-4, whilst Kristina Mladenovic shocked 20th seed Maria Sakkari 6-2, 0-6, 6-3.

Similar upsets occurred in the menโ€™s draw as Spanish No 2 Roberto Bautista Agut was ousted by Moldovan Radu Albot 6-7, 6-0, 6-4, 7-6, whilst 15th seed David Goffin lost in the first round for the first time since 2013 against Australian Alexie Popyrin.

To read more of our coverage from the Australian Open, please click here.

Featured image credit: Carine06 via Wikipedia Commons CC 2.0 license

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