Kim Clijsters and Rafael Nadal didn’t waste any time on court today: Kim destroyed Dinara Safina 6-0 6-0 and Nadal cruised to second round after his opponent, Marcos Daniel, retired in the second set.
All the other favorites (Vera Zvonareva, Sam Stosur, Andy Murray, Robin Soderling) qualified easily for the second round.
Good news also for 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro who played and won his first Grand Slam match since his defeat against Marin Cilic in Melbourne last year.
So, all the big players seem to be ready to stop Rafael Nadal en route for his ‘Rafa Slam’.

Day 2 complete results

Seeds upsets: Ana Ivanovic(19), Alexandra Dulgheru(27), Ernests Gulbis (24)

Aussie player of the day: Alicia Molik
All eyes are on Sam Stosur this year, but veteran Aussie Alicia Molik staged a remarkable comeback to defeat world No.37 Roberta Vinci, 1-6, 6-3, 8-6, and become the third and final Australian woman to reach the second round at Australian Open 2011 (the others are Jelena Dokic and Sam Stosur).

Stat of the day: 0
3-time Slam finalist Dinara Safina became the first former number one player in history to suffer a double bagel at a Grand Slam. So Safina, time to work or time to retire?

Match of the day: David Nalbandian defeats Lleyton Hewitt
Those two old enemies didn’t disappoint: Nalbandian beat Hewitt in a five set thriller 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (1), 9-7. Lleyton Hewitt may harbour some regrets as he wasted two match points and converted only 7 of his 30 break points.
Both players won the same number of points: 193.

Matches to follow on day 3:
Gilles Simon(FRA) vs. Roger Federer(SUI)[2]
Janko Tipsarevic(SRB) vs. Fernando Verdasco(ESP)[9]
Stanislas Wawrinka(SUI)[19] vs. Grigor Dimitrov(BUL)

The No.5 seed in Melbourne, Sam Stosur will enter the event as Australia’s best hope and only seeded player.
It has been 28 years since the Australian Open was won by homegrown talent, not since unseeded Chris O’Neil surprised everybody for her one and only career title at the Open in 1978.
A former world number one in doubles, she was sidelined for about 9 months in 2007-2008 with the debilitating career-threatening Lyme’s disease. She recovered to regain her place in the top 30 in 2009 and since then she seems to have some kind of a second, more successful career.

Sam had a standout 2010 season, reaching the finals at Roland Garros and the Masters’ semifinals, and cracking the top 5. She is now a real threat in the Grand Slam tournaments.
Her 2011 season is quite caotic so far as she suffered two second round losses in Brisbane (lost to Jarmila Groth) and Sydney (lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova). She could face Zvonareva in quarter final and Clijsters in semies. But her biggest challenge will be to deal with the pressure.

Let’s have a look at the other contenders:

Caroline Wozniacki
She’s probably the player (apart from Stosur) with the most pressure on her shoulder as she has to prove she can finally win a Slam.
Her best result Down Under was a fourth round last year, so nothing impressive, but she proved her game is effective on hard courts, as she reached the final at Flushing Meadows in 2009 and the semies last year.
Wozniacki has a tough half of the draw with 5 previous Grand Slam champions (Venus Williams, Francesca Schiavone, Justine Henin, Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kutznetsova).

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In honor of the Fila brand’s 100th anniversary in 2011, the company announced that reigning US Open Singles champion Kim Clijsters will debut the first in a series of 100th anniversary commemorative collections of performance tennis apparel at the 2011 Australian Open.
This new collection, named for another Fila champion, four time Australian Open champion Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, sought inspiration from the brand’s archives of styles worn by Evonne during her 14 Grand Slam title reign in the 1970s and early 80s.

2011 Australian Open: Kim Clijsters Fila outfit

“We are thrilled that Evonne will serve as a brand ambassador for Fila as we honor her tennis legacy during our 100th anniversary year,” said Gene Yoon, Chairman of Fila.
“It was only fitting that Kim Clijsters wear this collection since she is the only woman after Goolagong-Cawley to win a Grand Slam as a mother. Kim and Evonne are inspirations to mothers and tennis fans around the world with their grace, athleticism and drive…”

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From now on, a new series of posts: Tennis Buzz, the week in review, with all the latest tennis news and a preview of next week action.

This week’s biggest news was of course Elena Dementieva‘s retirement.
She announced her retirement following a 6-4, 6-2 loss to French Open champion Francesca Schiavone at the WTA Championships in Doha.
The 29-year-old Russian reached two Grand Slam finals, won the singles gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 16 WTA singles titles.

An offensive baseline player with powerful groundstrokes, she was able to play well on any surface. Her biggest weaknesses were her serve and her inability to win big matches. She will now and forever be a candidate for the title of Best Player Never to Win a Major.
She will be truly missed for her class, her work ethic and also her smile. Thanks Elena and all the best for the future.
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– Nadal cruises to final with a straight sets win over Mikhail Youzhny.

World number one Rafael Nadal was just too good for Youzhny. After two defeats in semifinals the past two years (he lost to Andy Murray in 2008 and to Juan Martin Del Potro in 2009), the 24 year old Spaniard advanced to his first US Open final. With a win tonight, Nadal would become the seventh man in tennis history to complete a career Grand Slam.

– Djokovic stuns Federer in a five set thriller

Novak Djokovic saved 2 match points a 4-5 in the fifth, and after a grueling 3h 44 min match, he defeated Roger Federer to prevent the Nadal-Federer final everyone was hoping for.

To be honest, I was just closing my eyes and hitting forehands as fast as I can on match point. If it goes in, it goes in. If it goes out, just another loss to Federer in the U.S. Open. I managed to come back. I was very lucky.

– Kim Clijsters’ love story with New York continues

Kim Clijsters dismantled Vera Zvonareva 6-2 6-1 to win her third US Open trophy. She became the first woman to retain her title since Venus Williams in 2001.

Clijsters won her 21st consecutive match here and her third title in her past three tries. Zvonareva, as predicted, lost her nerve.
Kim:

A little bit of experience definitely helps. I told her it’s tough. It took me six or seven finals before I finally got one. ‘Vera, keep it going. It will happen.