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Seeds Crash Out in Australia

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The Grand Slam season started in the land down under where the ladies draw dished up a number of upsets. The opening day of the Australian Open will be remembered for the early exit of crowd favourite Ana Ivanovic who after winning the first set somehow managed to press the self-destruct button against Lucie Hradecka who wrapped up a 1-6, 6-3 and 6-2 win.

The numbers don’t lie and judging by the 10 double faults, 55% accuracy on her first serve, 30 unforced errors and only 19 outright winners it would of come as a surprise to see Ivanovic on Wednesday.

The fifth seed was joined at the exit signs by Angelique Kerber from Germany who lost to Irina-Camelia Begu. The ninth seed won the second set without dropping a game but failed to do anything with that momentum in the deciding set.

Belinda Bencic (32), Sabine Lisicki (28), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (23), Svetlana Kuznetsova (27), Carla Suarez Navarro (17), Lucie Safarova (16), and Chanelle Scheepers from South Africa also failed to make it to the second round.

In the men’s draw the upsets were certainly limited to a bare minimum. Rafael Nadal launched his campaign with a victory over former quarter-finalist Mikhail Youzhny.

Roger Federer who has reached the semi-finals or better for the last 11 years eased past Yen-Hsun Lu in straight sets sixth seed Andy Murray dropped 13 games against Yuki Bhambri from India who was making his debut in the singles draw at a Grand Slam event.

Australian fans were certainly entertained by their local stars as Bernard Tomic, Sam Groth, Marinko Matosevic, Thanasi Kokkinakis and James Duckworth all progressed. Kokkinakis was responsible for the biggest upset in the men’s division after he removed 11th seed Ernests Gulbis in five sets.

15th seed Tommy Robredo withdrew after five games against Edouard Roger-Vasselin while 14th seed Kevin Anderson survived his first test in Melbourne.

The South African beat Diego Schwartzman from Argentina in a match that lasted four sets.

Anderson will next face Ricardas Berankis from Lithuania who will be looking to reach the third round at the Australian Open for the third time in his career.

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