Tomic forfeits match to Nadal amid searing temperatures at Aussie Open
By Dennis Passa ,AP
January 15, 2014, 12:05 am TWN
MELBOURNE, Australia -- After a day of searingly-hot temperatures which raised complaints from players, top-seeded Rafael Nadal advanced to the second round of the Australian Open in relatively mild conditions.
Nadal's Australian opponent Bernard Tomic, bothered from the start by a left leg injury, retired from the match after losing the first set 6-4. Some in the capacity crowd of 15,000 at Rod Laver Arena booed lustily when Tomic indicated he could not continue.
Roger Federer, Andy Murray and defending champion Victoria Azarenka advanced earlier Tuesday amid temperatures that topped 42 Celsius (108 Fahrenheit).
Maria Sharapova was to play American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the last match of the night.
Tomic called a medical timeout after three games, and twice more before he quit.
“I know how tough is this situation, I had the same a few years ago at this tournament,” Nadal said of Tomic's injury. “Since the beginning, I saw a little bit he had some problems on the leg.”
Federer started his record 57th consecutive Grand Slam tournament with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Australian wild-card entry James Duckworth on a day when the heat forced at least one player to black out during his match.
Azarenka played the opening match on the center court, and said it felt “like you're dancing in a frying pan.” She had a 7-6 (2), 6-2 win over No. 91-ranked Johanna Larsson of Sweden.
Wimbledon champion Murray, on the comeback from minor back surgery in September, had a 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 win over Go Soeda of Japan and No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro rallied for a 6-7 (1), 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over U.S. qualifier Rhyne Williams.
Former No. 1-ranked Lleyton Hewitt lost in five sets to No. 24-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy only a week after beating Federer in the Brisbane International final.