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Published: 18:24 | 19/1/16

Nadal out in first round

Former champion beaten by Verdasco

Fernando Verdasco beat former champion Rafael Nadal in the first round of the Australian Open.

The world number 45 secured a 7-6 (8/6) 4-6 3-6 7-6 (7/4) 6-2 triumph to hand Nadal his first opening-round defeat at the Melbourne major.

Verdasco was 2-0 down in the decider but rallied to produce a stunning victory.

"I played unbelievable in the fifth set from after the break he made against me," said the 32-year-old, who goes on to meet Israel's Dudi Sela.

"I just started hitting winners - I don't know how. I was closing my eyes and everything was coming in."

Second seed Andy Murray eased past German teenager Alexander Zverev, triumphing 6-1 6-2 6-3.

"It got tough at the end, there were a lot of long games and rallies - Alex fought hard and made it very competitive," said the British number one, despite the seemingly comfortable nature of his win.

"He's one of the best young players in the world and he's going to be around for a long time.

"It was hot conditions today, especially when the clouds went, so I was glad to get it done in three sets."

World number two Murray will face fast-serving Australian Sam Groth in the second round of the tournament.

Australia Open, Men's Singles, Round 1 results
A Kuznetsov (RUS) bt R Harrison (USA) 7-5, 6-4, 6-4
J Sousa (POR) (32) bt M Kukushkin (KAZ) 6-3, 6-4, 6-3
S Groth (AUS) bt A Mannarino (FRA) 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
M Raonic (CAN) (13) bt L Pouille (FRA) 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
J Chardy (FRA) (30) bt E Gulbis (LAT) 7-5, 2-6, 6-75, 6-3, 13-11
G Muller (LUX) bt F Fognini (ITA) (20) 7-6, 7-6, 6-7, 7-6
J Millman (AUS) bt D Schwartzman (ARG) 3-6, 5-7, 7-6, 5-0 retired
S Robert (FRA) bt B Fratangelo (USA) 6-2, 6-2, 6-2
F Lopez (ESP) (18) bt D Evans (GBR) 6-1, 6-0, 6-4
R Ram (USA) bt K Anderson (RSA) (11) 7-6, 6-7, 6-3, 3-0 retired
S Giraldo (COL) bt D Young (USA) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2
G Pella (ARG) bt S Darcis (BEL) 2-6, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-1
A Murray (GBR) (2) bt A Zverev (GER) 6-1, 6-2, 6-3
T Robredo (ESP) bt M Jaziri (TUN) 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6, 8-6
M Granollers-Pujol (ESP) bt M Ebden (AUS) 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
F Verdasco (ESP) bt R Nadal (ESP) (5) 7-6, 4-6, 3-6, 7-6, 6-2
S Bolelli (ITA) bt B Baker (USA) 7-6, 7-6, 6-7, 7-6
S Johnson (USA) (31) bt A Bedene (SLO) 6-3, 6-4, 7-6
N Mahut (FRA) bt M Cecchinato (ITA) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-2
G Monfils (FRA) (23) bt Y Sugita (JPN) 6-1, 6-3, 6-2
T Bellucci (BRA) bt J Thompson (AUS) 6-2, 6-3, 6-2
T Smyczek (USA) bt D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
J Isner (USA) (10) bt J Janowicz (POL) 6-3, 7-6, 6-3
D Sela (ISR) bt B Becker (GER) 6-1, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2
R Stepanek (CZE) bt T Ito (JPN) 6-4, 6-3, 6-7, 6-2
B Tomic (AUS) (16) bt D Istomin (UZB) 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
J Sock (USA) (25) bt T Fritz (USA) 6-4, 3-6, 0-6, 6-3, 6-4
D Ferrer (ESP) (8) bt P Gojowczyk (GER) 6-4, 6-4, 6-2

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