High drama in the first round of the Australian Open

Fernando Verdasco beating Rafael Nadal. Image: @AustralianOpen

The annual Australian Open tennis competition kicked off yesterday in Melbourne, and there has been no shortage of action in the opening round of the tournament.

Fernando Verdasco put in an explosive performance to defeat Rafael Nadal,  7-6 (8/6) 4-6 3-6 7-6 (7/4) 6-2.

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This is the first time Nadal has been knocked out of the competition at such an early stage.

World number two Andy Murray comfortably beat Alexander ‘Sascha’ Zverev in straight sets, to secure his place in the second round against Australian Sam Groth.

Eighth-seed Venus Williams was knocked out by Johanna Konta in a stunning performance from the Briton.

While Venus’ sister Serena Williams looked confident returning from a four month break to beat Camila Giorgi, 6-4 7-5.

This morning Lleyton Hewitt won his opening match on home turf against fellow Australian James Duckworth.

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Although business continued as usual, the tennis world is still reeling from the allegations made yesterday that secret files exist which prove some top ranked players have thrown matches.

The BBC and Buzzfeed claim to be in possession of the files.

They say the documents show some players were repeatedly flagged to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) over suspicions of match fixing, but that the allegations were not followed up and none of the players were disciplined by the TIU.

The BBC claim that three of the matches suspected took place at Wimbledon.

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