Misc Tennis

Australian Open 2024 results: Casper Ruud, Holger Rune and Sumit Nagal win

Australian Open 2024 results: Casper Ruud, Holger Rune and Sumit Nagal win

Forced to miss last year’s Australian Open because of injury, Wimbledon champion Alcaraz dominated French veteran Gasquet on his return to Melbourne Park in a 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 6-2 win.

The 20-year-old Spaniard, who at his past four Grand Slams has won two titles and reached two semi-finals, is aiming to significantly improve his record in Melbourne – where he has not gone beyond the third round in two previous appearances.

Alcaraz remained patient when faced with stern resistance from the 37-year-old Gasquet – playing the 23rd season of his career – who saved nine break points to force a tie-break in an entertaining opening set.

But, after edging the tie-break from 5-4 down, Alcaraz’s quality shone through – although Gasquet forced him to wait until his fifth match point to finally clinch a victory which set up a second-round meeting with Italian Lorenzo Sonego, who beat Briton Dan Evans.

Elsewhere, Danish eighth seed Rune beat Yoshihito Nishioka 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 in what he called a “physical battle”.

German sixth seed Zverev, meanwhile, had to come from behind to beat compatriot Dominik Koepfer 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

The win came the day after German court officials set a date for his trial over domestic abuse allegations, which he denies.

Bulgarian 13th seed Grigor Dimitrov – fresh from winning his first ATP title since 2017 in Brisbane – also advanced, coming back to beat Marton Fucsovics 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-1) 6-2.

Meanwhile, 26-year-old Nagal will get the chance to further improve his bank balance – reaching the third round brings prize money of £133,000 – when he takes on Chinese world number 140 Shang Juncheng, who is ranked three places below him.

He said he was not thinking about expectations back home, saying: “I want to go through this moment, take my time, enjoy being with my coach, have conversation, maybe eat a burger or something, and call it a night.”

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