The Spanish Armada in Melbourne got off to a breezy start at the Australian Open Monday. One of just three players to fall at the first hurdle, Albert Ramos, did so at the hands of compatriot Pablo Andújar while seeds David Ferrer and Tommy Robredo went through, albeit via the scenic route in the case of the latter.
Robredo, seeded 17, came up against Lukas Rosol, the Czech with a penchant for upsets who beat Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon last year and loves nothing more than a good five-setter. That was the number required for Robredo to see off the world number 92, 6-1, 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 8-6, saving three match points in the process.
Ferrer’s path to the second round was rather more straightforward, the third seed beating up-and-coming Colombian Alejandro González in straight sets. “It’s important to win the matches in three sets,” said Ferrer, “because my game is about fitness and I need power for my next match.” Ferrer next faces France’s Adrian Mannarino.
Guillermo García-López caused the upset of the day in defeating 12th seed Tommy Haas, albeit after the German retired in the second set with a shoulder injury.
Albert Montañés lost quickly to Alejandro Falla, and he was joined by Pablo Carreño, the world number 63, who gave French veteran Julien Benneteau a bit more of a game but eventually succumbed in four. Benneteau awaits 2007 quarterfinalist Robredo in the second round.
Nadal is in action Tuesday on the Rod Laver Arena, with Fernando Verdasco, Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Marcel Granollers, Roberto Bautista-Agut and Feliciano López all scheduled to launch their campaigns on Day Two.
In the women’s draw, Carla Suárez opens her challenge against Vania King while Garbiñe Muguruza, winner of the Hobart title last week after progressing to the main draw through the qualifiers, faces 24th seed Kaia Kanepi.
Hugely experienced Lourdes Domínguez Lino will fancy her chances of causing an upset against the most fragile of the top seeds, Caroline Wozniacki, early on the Hisense Arena.
Anabel Medina, Silvia Soler and Laura Arruabarrena were all knocked out in the first round on Monday.