Novak Djokovic started his defense with a straight-set win over France’s Jeremy Chardy. With the 6-3 6-1 6-2 win, he extended his win record against Chardy to 14 matches. The biggest upset of the day came when French 10th seed Gael Monflis was knocked out in the first-round against Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori – world No.86. Also Read – Australian Open 2021: Nick Kyrgios Calls Novak Djokovic ‘Strange Cat’, Opines on Rafael Nadal; Reckons Roger Federer is The Best
The Frenchman lost the match in a thrilling five-setter – 3-6 6-4 7-5 3-6 6-3. After the game, he could not hold back his tears at the presser. Also Read – Australian Open 2021: Gael Monfils Breaks Down to Tears During Press Conference After Shock First-Round Exit | WATCH VIDEO
“I would like to get out of this nightmare but I can’t,” Monflis said. “I do not feel well.” Also Read – Tennis | Nick Kyrgios’ Controversial ‘Girlfriend’ Jibe to Spectator During Australian Open 2021 First-Round Clash Draws Reactions
Last year’s finalist Dominic Thiem started his campaign on a winning note. He beat Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 6-3.
Sixth seed Alexander Zverev experienced a little stutter as he won his first-round game in four sets. The German won the game – 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-2.
In other matches that were played on the opening day at Melbourne Park, Swiss star Stan Wawrinka beat Portugal’s Pedro Sousa 6-3 6-2 6-4, while Canadian 14th seed Milos Raonic also won his opening match, beating Argentina’s Federico Coria in a 6-3 6-3 6-2 win.
“It feels great, so great to see people back in the stadium. I’m really glad to see a lot of people actually — this is the most I’ve seen on a tennis court in 12 months. Sometimes we take these things (crowds) for granted, but very very grateful to see you all,” said Djokovic after the win.
Earlier in the day, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka won their respective matches and sailed through to the second round.
Also, former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu was in tears on Monday after a well-fought three-set victory over Mihaela Buzarnescu in the Australian Open marked a much-anticipated return from a year-plus injury.
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