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Australian Open: Alexander Zverev, Johanna Konta register easy wins in first round

Alexander Zverev and Johanna Konta started their Australian Open campaigns with easy victories on Tuesday.

tennis Updated: Jan 16, 2018 10:37 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse, Melbourne
Australian Open,Alexander Zverev,Johanna Konta
Alexander Zverev celebrates a point against Thomas Fabbiano during their first round Australian Open encounter.(AP)

Young German star Alexander Zverev needed a hard-fought three sets to get through his opening match at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

The world No.4 spent 2hr 22min on Rod Laver Arena before claiming a 6-1, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5 win over 73rd-ranked Italian Thomas Fabbiano.

Zverev, at the vanguard of the “NextGen” brigade, will face either Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan or fellow German Peter Gojowczyk in the second round.

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While the 20-year-old won five titles and was one of just four players to beat Roger Federer last year, he has yet to get beyond the fourth round at a Grand Slam.

He was knocked out in the third round in Melbourne in 2017 and could face a potential third-round clash against his older brother Mischa in the year’s opening Grand Slam tournament.

Konta victorious

Johanna Konta skipped past Madison Brengle into the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday, the Briton overpowering her American opponent 6-3 6-1 in 66 minutes on Hisense Arena.

Australia-born Konta, who reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park two years ago, brushed off an early exit in her Sydney International title defence last week with an aggressive display that removed any doubts about her fitness.

Johanna Konta of Britain celebrates winning her match against Madison Brengle of the United States. (REUTERS)

The 26-year-old ninth seed hammered down eight aces and 37 winners, feasting on Brengle’s powderpuff serve and converting five of eight break points over the brief contest.

“I am very happy with that match,” said a smiling Konta, who will meet another American, Bernarda Pera, in the second round.

“I knew it would be tough, she gets a lot of balls back and makes her opponents work for it.

“So really happy I was able to stick to the style of play I wanted.”

Brengle had won three of their four previous meetings but grabbed her only break when already two down in the opening set and continued the exodus of American women that was a feature of day one at the year’s first grand slam.

First Published: Jan 16, 2018 10:36 IST