It was a thrilling second day of the Australian Open with the second batch of players progressing into the next round. There were twists and turns, some surprise wins but mostly routine victories, all adding to a scintillating day of tennis.
World number one Rafael Nadal couldn't have had an easier time at the Rod Laver arena as he mauled Brazil's Marcos Daniel 6-0 5-0 before the Brazilian retired hurt. It just took 47 minutes for the Spanish nine-time grand slam winner, as Daniel seemed short of fitness with a heavily strapped knee. He hurt it further in the second set and called for medical time-out twice before retiring.
Nadal, who is all too familiar with knee problems, empathized with the young Brazilian. It's terrible feeling. I wish him all best and a fast recovery. You don't want to retire but finally it's better because if it's bad you want to go and recover.
It's difficult when you have to go out of a big tournament like the Australian Open. To go out like that was really tough for me mentally (he retired in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open last year).
Nadal came back to win three grand slams last year and he admitted that 2010 was an overwhelming year. Last year was probably the most emotional season of my life. I came back after a difficult situation, won at Roland Garros and the US Open was really special.
The day's most thrilling encounter was the last - David Nalbandian beat his old rival Lleyton Hewitt in five-set thriller packed with unpredictable twists which ended 3-6 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-1) 9-7. The decisive moment came when Nalbandian broke Hewitt at 7-7 in the final set to serve for match. Though tension was at its peak, both players produced fine winners before 'Nalbo' lobbed Hewitt for match point as the home crowd sank in dismay.
In day's other matches, Britain's Andy Murray eased through Slovakia's Karol Beck to start his quest for a maiden grand slam title. Fifth seed Murray was ahead at 6-3 6-1 4-2 when Beck retired with a shoulder injury. The Scot will now face Illya Marchenko, who beat Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo in his first round encounter.
Juan Martin Del Potro, the 2009 US Open winner, put his wrist injury behind with a hard-fought 7-6 (15-13) 6-4 6-4 victory against Israel's Sela while Marin Cilic saw-off American Donald Young 6-3 6-2 6-1.
Elsewhere, fourth seed Robin Soderling progressed at the expense of Italy's Potito Starace with a 6-4 6-2 6-2 victory while seventh seed David Ferrer came back after a third-set slog to beat Jarkko Nieminen 6-4 6-3 1-6 6-2.
Other winners in the men's category were 11th seed Jurgen Melzer, Mikhail Youzhny, Marcos Baghdatis, Feliciano Lopez and Australian wild card Bernard Tomic.
In the WTA event, the major shock was the silent nature of former World number one Dinara Safina's exit after third seeded Kim Clijsters recorded an unchallenged 6-0 6-0 victory against the Russian in barely 44 minutes.
Ana Ivanovic was another former world number one who made an early exit after she lost out a tightly contested encounter against Russia's Ekaterina Makarova. The Serb, despite saving five match points, couldn't prevent Makarova from a 3-6 6-4 10-8 triumph.
Elsewhere, second seed Vera Zvonareva had a more or less untroubled progress into the second round after seeing off Sybille Bammer 6-1 6-2 while local favorite Sam Stosur saw off USA's Lauren Davis 6-1 6-1.
Jankovic found her form after going down 4-0 in the second set, having lost the first 6-0, and came back to beat Alla Kudryavtseva 6-0 7-6 (7-5) in a thrilling encounter. Japan's Date-Krumm, the oldest player in the tournament at 40, almost snatched the tie against Agnieszka Radwanska, going ahead with a double break in the deciding set. However, the Polish youngster battled back to win 6-4 4-6 7-5.
25th seed Petra Kvitova beat Sally Peers 6-2 6-4 while Serbian teen Bojana Jovanovski saw-off Kai-Chen Chang 7-5 6-1. Petra Martic, Petra Kvitova, Shahar Peer, Nadia Petrova, Maria Kirilenko and Flavia Pennetta were among the others to progress.