Australian Open tennis: Swiatek, Gauff, Nadal among Day 1 winners

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek (pictured) of Poland beat German Jule Niemeier in straight sets in the first round of the 2023 Australian Open on Monday in Melbourne. Photo by Lukas Coach/EPA-EFE
World No. 1 Iga Swiatek (pictured) of Poland beat German Jule Niemeier in straight sets in the first round of the 2023 Australian Open on Monday in Melbourne. Photo by Lukas Coach/EPA-EFE

Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Top respective singles seeds Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek each won their first-round matches on Day 1 of the 2023 Australian Open on Monday in Melbourne. Coco Gauff and Frances Tiafoe were among the Americans to advance.

The tournament started Monday in Australia, but coverage began Sunday night in the United States due to a 16-hour time difference from EST.


Swiatek beat German Jule Niemeier 6-4, 7-5 to advance to the second round. The Polish tennis star totaled 20 winners, 28 unforced errors and converted 3 of 5 break points in the one-hour, 59-minute match.

Swiatek was down 5-3 in the second set before she roared back to win in straight sets.

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"I am happy I was able to come back in the second set," Swiatek told reporters. "That was an important moment. It is the beginning of the season with my first match in the first Grand Slam. It's always tough and it wasn't an easy opponent, but I'm happy I'm through."


Swiatek will face Colombian Camila Osorio on Tuesday for a spot in the third round.

No. 3 Jessica Pegula of the United States also dispatched first-round Romanian foe Jaqueline Cristian in straight sets. No. 6 Maria Sakkari of Greece, Gauff (No. 7) and No. 10 Madison Keys of the United States were among the other Top 10 women to advance on Day 1.

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No. 13 Danielle Collins, Catherine McNally and Bernarda Pera joined Pegula, Gauff and Keys among the American women who advanced.

Pegula, Gauff and McNally each won in straight sets. Americans Sofia Kenin and Amanda Anisimova (No. 28) and CoCo Vandeweghe were eliminated in the first round.

On the men's side, Nadal beat England's Jack Draper 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1. The top-seeded Spaniard totaled 41 winners, 46 unforced errors and converted 6 of 12 break points in the three-hour, 41-minute match.

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"I knew it would not be perfect, but to win against Jack I needed to do things well," Nadal said. "I am satisfied with the victory because it gives me the chance to play again. I accepted the mistakes and understood there would be ups and downs during the match."


Nadal -- the defending champion -- will meet American Mackenzie McDonald in the second round.

No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, No. 6 Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, No. 7 Daniil Medvedev of Russia and No. 10 Hubert Hurkacz of Poland were among the other Top 10 men who advanced on Day 1.

Tiafoe, a 2022 U.S. Open semifinalist, outlasted German Daniel Altmaier in a three-hour, 19-minute match. The American No. 16 seed totaled 24 aces, 82 winners, 43 unforced errors and converted 4 of 16 break points in the win. Altmaier logged 17 aces, 47 winners, 46 unforced errors and converted just 1 of 8 break points.

McDonald, No. 29 Sebastian Korda and wildcard Christopher Eubanks were among the other American men to advance on Day 1. Americans Marcos Giron and Brandon Nakashima lost their first-round matches. Medvedev beat Giron in straight sets.

No. 2 Caspar Ruud of Norway, No. 4 Novak Djokovic of Serbia, No. 5 Andrey Rublev of Russia, No. 8 Taylor Fritz of the United States and No. 9 Holger Rune of Norway will be among the top men in action on Day 2, which will take place Tuesday in Melbourne.


Day 2 coverage will start at 7 p.m. EST Monday on ESPN+. Additional coverage will start at 11:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN2.

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