2012 Australian Open: Top Seeds Cruise In Day 1

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer begin their quest for more major championships Monday at the 2012 Australian Open.

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Rafael Nadal Hears Knee Crack Before Australian Open 2012 Day 1 Match

Rafael Nadal, the No. 2 ranked seed in the 2012 Australian Open, had a scare on Day 1 with one of his knees. "Yesterday afternoon happened the more strange thing ever happen to me," Nadal revealed to Sandy Harwitt after his 6-4 6-1 6-1 win over American qualifier Alex Kuznetsov. "I stand up. I felt the knee a little bit strange ... the knee stays with unbelievable pain ... I have no movement on the knee."

Tournament officials quickly arranged an MRI for Nadal in fear his tournament run would be cut short due to an injury. The MRI revealed however that Nadal's knee was structurally fine, so the 25-year old Spaniard was good to go for his match with Kuznetsov.

"I started the match with a little bit of scare at the beginning and nervous because I was really disappointed yesterday," Nadal told Harwitt. "But, you know, after the first 10 games that was scare, I started to play with normal conditions." Nadal will take on Tommy Haas in the next round of the Open. Haas defeated Denis Kudla 7-6(5) 3-6 6-0 7-5 on Day 1.

For more on Nadal and the Australian Open, follow SB Nation's tennis coverage.


Australian Open 2012 Scores, Results: Nadal, Federer, American Men, Wozniacki Advance

The 2012 Australian Open is officially underway with the first round of matches in the books down under to kick off the first of tennis's four Grand Slam events. There weren't many surprises during Melbourne's first day of action, though, as Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki all advanced as top seeds.

Nadal beat American player Alex Kuznetsov in straight sets and Federer advanced over Russian Alexander Kudryavtsev as the two moved closer to meeting prior to the tournament's finals. Aside from Kuznetsov, the American players had a solid first day of action as Mardy Fish, John Isner, Donald Young and Sam Querrey were all able to post victories on the first day of the tournament.

SI.com: Australian Open men's draw breakdown and predictions | Full coverage of the Australian Open

Wozniacki, the world's top-ranked female tennis player, defeated Australia's own Anastasia Rodionova in straight sets (6-2, 6-1) to advance to the next round. Only three ranked female players lost on Day 1 as Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer, the 28th-ranked player in the world, lost to Galina Voskoboeva in straight sets while Italy's Flavia Pennetta dropped a three-set match to Nina Bratchikova and Lucie Safarova lost to the USA's Christina McHale.

For more on the Australian Open, be sure to check the official results page as well as SB Nation's tennis hub.


Australian Open 2012, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer's Likely Meeting Full Of Intrigue

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer graced the tennis world with thrilling Grand Slam Final matches for the last several years. That, however, can't happen at the 2012 Australian Open.

For the first time since the 2005 French Open, Nadal and Federer on are the same side of a draw at a major, meaning that only one of them will be able to make it to the final. Nadal has won 10 Grand Slam titles, one of which was the 2009 Australian Open, where he defeated Federer.

To earn his second championship in Melbourne, No. 2 Nadal might have to go through No. 3 Federer in the semifinals and No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the final.

On the court, Nadal and Federer have been respectful rivals, but recently, Nadal was critical of Federer off the court, voicing his displeasure over Federer's silence over tour conditions while others "burn themselves."

That semifinal just got more interesting.

Yet, before that, Nadal opens Monday against American Alex Kuznetsov in what should be a mere warmup for Nadal.


Australian Open 2012 Live Streaming: How To Watch The Australian Open Online

We get it. We couldn't take the price or time of a $1,000+, one-day flight to Australia. So we're joining you, couch potato nation, in the opening of another season that's bound to feature even louder grunts, even larger match ups and even riskier outfits from one of the Williams' sisters.

So where can you watch hours of a tiny tennis ball crossing a net down under?

Beginning Sunday night, ESPN will kick off over 100 hours of coverage of this year's Australian Open, featuring 12.5 hour live window blocks of tennis.

Full coverage will be on ESPN2 and the Tennis Channel. The Tennis Channel will air a majority of the early round matches, while ESPN3.com will be live streaming with eight live feeds and more than 600 hours of coverage.

The full schedule from Tennis-X:

ESPN2 Australian Open TV Schedule (All times Eastern)
Sun, Jan 15 6:30 p.m. - 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
Mon, Jan 16 9 p.m. - 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
Tue, Jan 17 9 p.m. - 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
Wed, Jan 18 11 p.m. - 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
Thur, Jan 19 11 p.m. - 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
Fri, Jan 20 9 p.m. - 7:30 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
Sat, Jan 21 9 p.m. - 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
Sun, Jan 22 7 p.m. - 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE, Round of 16
Mon, Jan 23 9 p.m. - 2 a.m., Tue 3:30 - 6 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE, Quarterfinals
Tue, Jan 24 7 p.m. - 2 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE, Wed 3:30 - 6 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE, Quarterfinals
Wed, Jan 25 9:30 p.m. - 2 a.m. Women's Semifinals ESPN2 LIVE, Thurs 3:30 - 6 a.m. Men's Semifinal #1 ESPN2 LIVE
Thurs, Jan 26 3:30 - 6 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE, Men's Semifinal #2
Sat, Jan 28 3 a.m. - 5:30 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE, Women's Final
Sun, Jan. 29 3 a.m. - 6:30 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE, Men's Final

Tennis Channel Australian Open TV Schedule (All times Eastern)
Monday, Jan. 16, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM LIVE, First Round
Tuesday, Jan. 17, 7:00 - 9:00 PM PM LIVE, Second Round
Wednesday, Jan. 18, 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM LIVE, Second Round
Thursday, Jan. 19, 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM LIVE, Third Round
Friday, Jan. 20, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM LIVE, Third Round
Saturday, Jan. 21, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM LIVE, Round of 16
Sunday, Jan. 22, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM LIVE, Round of 16
Monday, Jan. 23, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM LIVE, Women's Quarterfinals
Tuesday, Jan. 24, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM LIVE, Women's Quarterfinals
Wednesday, Jan. 25, 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM LIVE
Thursday, Jan. 26, 11:00 PM - 3:00 AM LIVE, Women's Doubles Final
Saturday, Jan. 28, 5:30 AM - 7:30 AM LIVE, Men's Doubles Final
Sunday, Jan. 29, 12:30 AM - 2:30 AM LIVE, Mixed Doubles Final


Australian Open 2012 Schedule And TV Coverage For Monday's Matches

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer begin their quest for more major championships Monday at the 2012 Australian Open.


Australian Open 2012: Rafael Nadal Calls Out Roger Federer Over Player Issues

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are on a collision course to meet in the semifinals of the 2012 Australian Open after being paired on the same side of the bracket. The two tennis legends may also be butting heads off the court, however. Nadal took Federer to task before the start of the tournament, calling him out for not being vocal enough on player issues.

At the heart of the spat is the demanding schedule that professional tennis players have to endure. Andy Murray recently threatened to strike if tennis' governing bodies, the ATP and ITF, didn't consider shortening the season or eliminating a few tournaments. Nadal has been outspoken on the issue as well, and thinks Federer should be too.

"We each have our opinion and maybe he [Federer] likes the circuit," Nadal said. "Me too, I like it, and I think it's better than most sports. That does not mean you cannot be better and that you should [not] change things that are bad."

He added:

"I say a lot of good things about tennis, because thanks to this sport I have had experiences in my life I could never have dreamed of, but to finish your career with pain in all areas of your body is not positive. He finishes his career as fresh as a daisy because he is physically privileged, but neither Murray nor [Novak] Djokovic and I are fresh as a daisy."

The typically level-headed Federer has yet to respond. There is a good chance he will wait and let his play on the court do the talking. Either way, one of the best rivalries in tennis should be a little more interesting this year.

For more on Federer, Nadal and the Australian Open, follow SB Nation's tennis coverage.


Australian Open 2012: Men's Draw Preview

If it weren't enough that Novak Djokovic came off a 70-6 season, the Australian Open went and placed Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the same half of a Grand Slam draw for the first time since 2005. But that's not the only excitement that will happen Down Under.

Besides the usual big hitters of Djoko, Nadal and The Fed here are some highlights to the start of the men's draw.

SI.com: Australian Open men's draw breakdown and predictions | Full coverage of the Australian Open

Play opens with Bernard Tomic facing No. 22 Fernando Verdasco in Rod Laver Arena. The 19-year-old Tomic is fresh off a tournament win at the Kooyong Classic. The young Australian defeated American Mardy Fish in three sets on his home turf.

In last year's Aussie Open, David Nalbandian went five sets to beat Lleyton Hewitt in the opening round before retiring in the second round with fatigue. This year, the Argentine will face Finland's Jarkko Nieminen. Nimeinen won his second ATP title of his career when he beat Julien Benneteau 6-2, 7-5 in the Sydney International (a tune-up for the Aussie Open.)

Also, if Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick both win their opening round matches, it will be a chance to see the former World No. 1's facing off in the second round.

Be sure to check out the entire 2012 Australian Open men's draw here.

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