It’s been a tough first day at the office for tennis’ top seeds with five big names falling on Day 1 of the Australian Open.
American ninth seed John Isner was the biggest scalp at Melbourne Park as he fell to 97th ranked compatriot Reilly Opelka in four tiebreaks 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5).
In doing so, Isner destroyed his untarnished record of having never lost to an American at a grand slam.
The Ninth seed hit more aces than his opponent, 47-40. He delivered more total winners and finished with more overall points, too.
The loss damages America’s chances down under with their highest-ranked male eliminated from the Australian Open alongside 31st seed Steve Johnson who was given the boot from Italian hitter and Sydney International runner-up Andreas Seppi.
Great Britain find themselves in a similar predicament after their highest ranked male, 13th seed Kyle Edmund, was felled by Czech powerhouse Tomas Berdych.
German tennis star Andrea Petkovic has retired from her first round Australian Open clash against Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu after collapsing mid play in distressing scenes at Melbourne Park.
Aussie journeyman John Millman got through to the second round with a four-set victory over Federico Delbonis.
Ash Barty needed less than an hour to progress to the second round of the Australian Open.
It only took Berdych an hour and 40 minutes as he decimated the Brit in straight sets 3-6 0-6 6-7.
Great Britain’s final hope Andy Murray will clash with Spain’s Robert Bautista Agut as he kits up for his final Australian Open after revealing plans of his imminent retirement late last week.
In the women’s Germany’s Julia Goerges was ousted by American Danielle Collins 6-2 6-7 4-6, while Latvian young gun Jelena Ostapenko fell to Greece’s Maria Sakkari.