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Rublev survives tough 5-setter, Sinner wins opener Australian Open

Andrey Rublev wins Australian Open first-round match, clinching a 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (6) victory. Djokovic and Sabalenka also set to play.

Andrey Rublev had a tense and difficult first-round match against Thiago Seyboth Wild at the Australian Open, feeling like it was going to end in defeat just like his friend Daniil Medvedev's match at the French Open last year. After squandering four match points in the 12th game of the fifth set, Rublev found himself behind 5-2 in the match tiebreaker but managed to regain his composure and win eight of the next nine points, ultimately securing a 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (6) victory. He celebrated by embracing Seyboth Wild and roaring triumphantly.

Rublev acknowledged that he felt the momentum was going the same way as Medvedev's match at Roland Garros before deciding to relax and go for broke. He recognized Seyboth Wild's talent and dangerous play, and expressed his relief at overcoming the challenges to secure the win.

Italian player Jannik Sinner also had a successful first-round match, winning 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 against Botic van de Zandschulp. He expressed his gratitude for the support from the Carota Boys in the crowd and the significance of starting the tournament with a win. Sinner also mentioned that the support from the fans dressed in carrot costumes might have given him an extra belief to win.

Marin Cilic, the runner-up in 2018, was defeated by Fabian Marozsan in a four-set match. The Australian Open is being played over 15 days, with the first round split over three days and starting on a Sunday for the first time.

Women's eighth seed Maria Sakkari expressed relief after securing a win against Nao Hibino. She mentioned the emotional difficulty of the match and her happiness at playing a good second set. Other players who advanced included 2021 U.S. Open finalist Leylah Fernandez and No. 9 Barbora Krejcikova.

Teenager Brenda Fruhvirtova recorded her first Grand Slam win, while Russian qualifier Maria Timofeeva defeated Alize Cornet. Amanda Anisimova continued her comeback with a win over No. 13-seeded Liudmila Samsonova.

Novak Djokovic, who is aiming for a record 25th Grand Slam title, was set to open his bid in the night session on Rod Laver Arena. He is on a 28-match winning streak at Melbourne Park. Aryna Sabalenka was scheduled to begin her title defense against Ella Seidel in the last match of the day on the main show court.

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