Let the games begin.
A ferocious first day of tennis was on display on Monday as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal picked up easy first round wins. Bernard Tomic came through down two sets to none against Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. Berdych, Fish, Almagro, del Potro, Dolgopolov, Isner, Lopez, Baghdatis, Kohlschreiber, Nalbandian, Karlovic and Wawrinka all survived and moved onto the 2nd round.
Federer started his campaign with a 75 62 62 win over Grand Slam-debutant Alexander Kudryavtsev of Russia. The unknown played very well in the first set, but quickly lost the match in the 2nd and 3rd sets. Roger was serving and returning very well, which is a very good sign that his back is doing fine. He wasn't as sharp off the ground as he could be, but that is hardly a worry. Fed always gets into rhythm off the ground between the 3rd round and quarterfinals, which allows him to really hit his stride late in tournaments. The fact that he was serving well was a great sign for things to come. When his serve is clicking, the rest of his game follows suit and he is able to efficiently utilize his first-strike tennis. Roger now plays Andreas Beck of Germany in the 2nd round, whom he also played in the 2nd round of the 2010 US Open. Expect another routine victory, which hardly needs to be said. Ivo Karlovic beat Jurgen Melzer so he is a good choice to be Roger's 3rd round opponent. That would be tricky but very manageable.
Nadal got off to a good start with 64 61 61 win over American Alex Kuznetsov. It was a close first set, but then Rafa ran away with it. Like Roger, he also plays a German in the 2nd round, veteran Tommy Haas. After the match, Nadal mentioned that he injured his knee while sitting in a hotel chair, which is about as comical as Murray hurting his rear end while sleeping. Is Nadal made of glass? Is that why his body breaks so easily? It is obvious now that the media is catching on to his physical failures more and more these days and are starting to question it. This leads me to believe whether Rafa will have less pull with the umpires this year in taking so many medical timeouts during matches. But no doubt, he'll try to affirm his case that the season is too long by piling up injuries if he feels it is necessary.
Alexandr Dolgopolov and Bernard Tomic both came back from two sets to none, which sets things up nicely for Roger. Both of them must be very tired after such tiring first round matches and now there is a big question mark as to if they will even make it to the Round of 16, where they are potential opponents for Federer. Del Potro came through in 4 sets against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. He had a slow start but then rebounded nicely. His form will need to be much better however if he hopes to reach the quarterfinals and give Roger a test.
In Day 2, Djokovic, Murray, Tsonga, Monfils, Ferrer, and many others play their openers.