MELBOURNE - Defending champion Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are into the Australian Open 2019 second round after beating their respective opponents in the first round while the John Isner and Andy Murray crashed out the Grand Slam event.

Swiss Federer, who is taking part in his 20th Australian Open, won in just under two hours by 6-3, 6-4 6-4 and will play Britain’s Dan Evans next. Meanwhile, 17-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal beat James Duckworth 6-4 6-3 7-5 to reach the second round. John Isner became the first top-10 player to fall on the opening day as he was stunned in four sets by world number 97 Reilly Opelka. American Isner, seeded ninth in Melbourne, was beaten 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5) by compatriot Opelka in just over three hours.

The victory was Opelka’s first in the main draw of a Grand Slam. Opelka - who at 6ft 11ins is the joint-tallest player on the ATP Tour - is the first American to beat 6ft 10ins Isner at a Slam. South African fifth seed Kevin Anderson also progressed by beating France’s Adrian Mannarino 6-3 5-7 6-2 6-1. The 32-year-old, who has reached the fourth round at Melbourne Park on three occasions, served 14 aces but made 38 unforced errors as he won his opening match in two hours and 53 minutes. The Wimbledon runner-up faces American Frances Tiafoe in the next round.

Five-time Australian Open finalist Andy Murray has bowed out at Melbourne Park for possibly the last time, going down in a thrilling 6-4 6-4 6-7 (7-5) 6-7 (7-4) 6-2 first-round loss to Roberto Bautista Agut. Battling a chronic hip injury that has him on the verge of retirement, Murray put up a fight against the Spanish 22nd seed in the four-hour-and-nine-minute contest.

The 31-year-old Scot, who said he will assess his future in the sport after the tournament, had momentum heading into the deciding set but Bautista Agut broke in the third game before serving out the match. Murray was left limping and in visible pain by the end of the fifth set, that earlier in the match looked long odds. “If this was my last match ... l“I gave literally everything I had. It wasn’t enough tonight,” Murray said. “Thank you so so much to everyone who came out tonight. I’ve loved playing here over the years.”


Maria Sharapova’s record in the first round is good, too. She was the first of five Australian Open winners to play on Rod Laver Arena on Day 1, starting with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Harriet Dart. No. 2-ranked Angelique Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open champion, opened with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Polona Hercog and defending champion Caroline Wozniacki beat Alison Van Uytvanck 6-3, 6-4 in the first of the night matches on the main arena.

Sharapova has the second-best record (behind Serena Williams) among active women’s players in first-round matches at the majors, and she gave an illustration of why that’s the case in a 63-minute disposal of Dart. Stung by a first-round loss at Wimbledon last year, 2008 Australian Open champion Sharapova said she couldn’t afford to feel any empathy for Dart. ‘’There is no time for that, I’m sorry to say ... when you’re playing the first round of a Grand Slam,’’ said Sharapova, who is still feeling pain in her right shoulder despite sitting out the end of last season after the U.S. Open. ‘’I think I was just focused on not having a letdown.’’

Also advancing were 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, No. 9 Kiki Bertens, No 11 Aryna Sabalenka, local favorite Ash Barty, No. 19 Caroline Garcia, No. 20 Anett Kontaveit, No. 24 Lesia Tsurenko, No. 29 Donna Vekic and No. 31 Petra Martic. Katie Boulter earned the distinction of winning the first 10-point tiebreaker under the Australian Open’s new system for deciding sets, and she celebrated twice. Boulter beat Ekaterina Makarova 6-0, 4-6, 7-6 (6), including 10-6 in the tiebreaker. Boulter started celebrating and went to the net when she reached 7-4 in the tiebreaker, forgetting it wasn’t a conventional count.