Novak Djokovic began his hunt for the ninth Australian Open title with a win over Jeremy Chardy on Monday. Dominic Thiem also had his first easy win, while Gayle Monfils was ruled out.
Djokovic needed only 1 hour and 31 minutes against Charlie. It became 6-3, 6-1 and 6-2 against the French No. 66 in the world, who did not force a single breakpoint. Djokovic hit Charlie’s serve six times.
The 33-year-old Djokovic, who meets American Frances Tiafoe in the second round, is heading to Melbourne for his eighteenth Grand Slam title. Rafael Nadal and the injured Roger Federer have a counter of twenty.
Second-placed Nadal will return to action on Tuesday and will play Laslo Jere of Serbia after that.
Novak Djokovic entered the Rod Laver Arena with spectators in the stands.
Zverev loses a set
Dominic Thiem was too strong for Mikhail Kukushkin from Kazakhstan in three sets (7-6 (2), 6-2 and 6-3) on Monday in the first round. Austrian reached the final in Melbourne last year, bowing to Djokovic in five sets. Thiem won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open in September.
Alexander Zverev, who lost the US Open final to Thiem in his first match in Melbourne, had a little more trouble. The German was very strong for American Marcos Giron with 6-7 (8), 7-6 (5), 6-3 and 6-2.
The 2014 winner, Stan Wawrinka, had no problem with Pedro Susa in his first-round match. The 35-year-old Swiss defeated the Portuguese 6-3, 6-2 and 6-4.
35-year-old Stan Wawrinka qualified for the second round in three sets.
Monfils got emotional after the defeat
For Monfils, the first lap meant the end station. The world number eleven lost five sets (6-3, 4-6, 5-7, 6-3 and 3-6) to outscore Finn Emil Rusuwori, who is ranked 98th in the ATP rankings.
Monfils suffered a seventh consecutive defeat and later became very emotional. “I played with zero confidence, I was really bad,” said French, who finished in the fourth round at the Australian Open last year. “It hurts a lot. I hope I wake up from this nightmare soon, but I don’t know when it will end.”
Pablo Carreno Busta was very strong for Kei Nishikori in three sets: 7-5, 7-6 (4) and 6-2. The Japanese former number four in the world played only four tournaments in 2020 due to injuries.
At number nine in the world, Diego Schwartzman of Argentina defeated Sade Elias Yammer 7-4 (3), 6-4, 2-6 and 6-2 in four sets. Australian affiliate Terrible Naik Kyrgios won 6–4 three times against Portuguese Frederica Ferreira Silva.
Gayle Monfils drips after his defeat against Emil Rashuvori.
Van de zandspul and hase play on tuesday
Dutch men will only come into action in Melbourne on Tuesday. Botik van de Zandslp (ATP-159), who made his Grand Slam tournament debut, will face Court 17 against Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz. The game starts at 1.00 am (Dutch time).
Robin Haase (ATP-197) plays the second match on court 12. He will take on Serbian Filip Krajinovic, number 28, in the placement list. 33-year-old Hasey was included in the plan as a lucky loser at the last minute.
The only Dutch woman of the main tournament, Arentsa Rasa, was eliminated by Roland Garros winner Inga Svotek on Monday. Kiki Bertens is recovering from an operation and does not participate.