RAFAEL NADAL is back in action today as he looks to capitalise on Novak Djokovic's absence to win a first Australian Open since 2009.

Djokovic was deported from the country and has also had his participation at Roland Garros thrown into doubt.

Spaniard Nadal takes on Olympic silver medallist Karen Khachanov at the Rod Laver Arena.

Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka is also in action.

But it was a bad day for the Brits yesterday, with Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray both being eliminated.

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Read our Novak Djokovic live blog below for ALL the latest updates…

  • Kostas Lianos

    Rad a tough time

    Emma Raducanu revealed members of her team wanted her to pull out of the Australian Open due to painful blisters.

    Raducanu said: "Before the match there were people in my team who didn’t want me to play.

    "I have been struggling with blisters since I started playing really in Australia because 21 days, no tennis, my hands got pretty soft. From day one, day two, I was getting blisters pop up here and there.

    "This particular one has been with me for about five days and I have been trying to tape it for every practice, and it would harden and dry out, but then once I would play again, another layer would just keep ripping off.

    "It ended up being pretty deep. It's a bit annoying because I know it's something that will heal in a few days, but it's just unfortunate timing"

  • Kostas Lianos

    Down and out?

    Andy Murray has hinted he will quit professional tennis if his form does not improve after his elimination from the Australian Open.

    After the match, Murray did not seem too confident when he was asked if he will return to Melbourne Park to compete in future.

    The former World No1 said: "Yeah, I mean, yeah, but not if I do what I did tonight too often this season.

    "This is a really important year for me for a number of reasons, and I want to perform well in the big events.

    "For me, tonight is not good enough in that respect"

    GETTY IMAGES
  • Justin Lawrence

    Kyrgios gets girlfriend support

    Nick Kyrgios received a warm message from his girlfriend after he crashed out of the Australian Open.

    Following his loss to Medvedev, Kyrgios' partner Costeen Hatzi took to social media to comfort the eccentric Aussie.

    She wrote on Instagram: "So proud of you. Played an amazing match… Still a winner in my eyes."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Medvedev's the 'best in the world'

    Nick Kyrgios reckons he lost to the 'best player in the world' in Daniil Medvdev.

    And the Australian ace thinks he would've won in the second round clash if he was up against anyone else but Medvedev.

    Kyrgios said: "If I play 95 per cent of people tonight on that court I think I win, to be honest with you.

    “I think if you asked everyone on tour…I think they would probably vote him (Medvedev) the best player in the world at the moment.

    “His consistency – he doesn’t drop his level, he shows up every game. I think no matter what the score is or how much pressure he’s under he never kind of gets flustered. He just has so much belief in his game.

    “He’s just so confident right now. To be honest, I threw everything I could at him. I thought I served consistently 220km/h for three-and-a-half hours almost, and played pretty well from the back, created plenty of opportunities on return games.

    “I’m super proud of my performance today. From where I was with my struggles the last four, five months, to be feeling like this and, obviously had COVID a couple of days before – I’m just proud of the way I responded.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Tauson records historic win

    Danish teen Clara Tauson beat 2020 Australian Open quarter-finalist Anett Kontaveit 6-2 6-4 to cruise into the third round of the tournament for the first time.

    The 19-year-old recorded the epic victory in one hour and 19 minutes in Melbourne.

    And a jubilant Tauson said after the win: "It’s the first time I am in the third round of a Grand Slam tournament. It’s a big achievement for me. Obviously it was one of the things I really wanted to do, to beat the good players in the bigger tournaments.

    "Doing it in a Slam is a really great feeling. It’s just a lot of hard work that I have put into it.

    "That it’s here already in one of the first tournaments of the year is a really nice feeling, but I still have some work to do. I cannot be too happy with the win today, but I am really happy."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Murray praise

    Grigor Dimitrov admires Andy Murray for his resilience despite his loss.

    Dimitrov said: "I think he wasn't really ready to say goodbye to the world of tennis.

    "He's not the kind of guy who gives up quick and admits he's done. it's all done. It's amazing what he's being able to do after everything that's happened to him.

    "He wants to finish his way, when he decides, not his body, just everyone should admire him for what he is being able to do."

  • Justin Lawrence

    'I hated it'

    Tennis coach Darren Cahill has admitted he hated that Djokovic was 'exempt' from getting the vaccine when he entered Australia.

    He said: "I hated the exemption that he had, because I think that exemption is really for people that wish to get vaccinated and they can’t get vaccinated because they’ve contracted Covid – and you have to wait three or six months, and then you get vaccinated.

    “Novak never wanted to get vaccinated, so I hated that particular exemption.

    “If you have an acute medical illness or something that holds you back from getting it, no problem, but I didn’t like the whole thing from the start.

    “It was a mess from the start and then it just got worse and worse."

  • Justin Lawrence

    'I believe in science'

    Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka has made it clear that she feels tennis players should get vaccinated just like she did.

    She said: "I believe in science, I believe in getting vaccinated. That’s what I did for myself.

    “I don’t want to push my beliefs on everybody else. However, we are playing a global sport and we’re travelling around the world.

    “As an entity, the WTA is travelling globally. We have to respect different countries, different mandates, different legalities of the country where some countries will not allow mandates.

    “[It’s not that] getting vaccinated nobody will be sick [anymore]. But I think it’s a step to hopefully battle against this coronavirus and hopefully bring it down globally.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Djokovic 'to sue' Australian government

    Djokovic is in talks with lawyers about suing the Australian government for £3.2million for “ill treatment”.

    The unvaccinated tennis star, 34, claimed he had a visa exemption but was deported before the Australian Open.

    Insiders say the damages figure includes the £2.3million prize money the world No 1 expected to have won.

    A source close to his agent Edoardo Artladi said: “It’s well known that Novak and his family feel he was poorly treated in the quarantine hotel in Melbourne.

    “His mother revealed how it was full of fleas and maggots. He was kept a virtual prisoner.”

    Lawyer Toma Fila added: “He was subjected to humiliating treatment. He should sue.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Raducanu speaks on loss

    Emma Raducanu has revealed some of her team didn't want her to play her second round tie.

    The British teen crashed out of the tournament after losing to world No.98 Danka Kovinic over three sets.

    And after the game, Raducanu explained that she wasn't at her optimal best due to an injury which led to a few members of her team insisting that she pulled out of the match.

    She said: "Before the match there were people in my team who didn’t want me to play.

    "I fought so hard just to come out to Australia and play here, so I just left it all out there on the court."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Medvedev blasts copycat Ronaldo fans

    Danil Medvedev claims fans at the Australian Open who have been re-enacting Cristiano Ronaldo's 'Siuu' celebration must have a 'low IQ'.

    The Russian said after beating Nick Kyrgios: "It’s not everybody who’s doing it, but those who are doing it probably have a low IQ.

    "I enjoyed to win. It’s not easy to play against the crowd. I feel like these matches, they are not easy to play, but they stay as fun matches afterwards, because in the end we gave the crowd a big show."

  • Justin Lawrence

    Rublev let into Australia with Covid

    Andrei Rublev has revealed he was allowed into Australia with Covid despite the ugly Novak Djokovic row.

    Even though he was still positive for Covid upon his arrival Down Under, he was let in and is no longer being tested.

    Speaking to Sport Klub, Rublev said: “I am not being tested personally now because I just got over the coronavirus.

    “When I flew to Australia, I was still positive, but the level of Covid SS, as it is called, I will not lie, it was very low and not dangerous.

    “I was allowed to enter the country. In addition, I spent more than ten days in quarantine.”

  • Justin Lawrence

    Murray hints at retirement

    Andy Murray has hinted he will QUIT professional tennis if his form does not improve.

    The 34-year-old was knocked out of the Australian Open following a shock defeat to Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel.

    Murray lost in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to Daniel – who is ranked 120th in the world.

    After the match, the Brit did not seem too confident when he was asked if he will return to Melbourne Park to compete in future.

    He said: "Yeah, I mean, yeah, but not if I do what I did tonight too often this season.

    "This is a really important year for me for a number of reasons, and I want to perform well in the big events.

    "For me, tonight is not good enough in that respect."

  • Kostas Lianos

    Daniil's Siu dig

    Daniil Medvedev slammed the 'stupid' Australian Open fans for doing the Cristiano Ronaldo celebration.

    And then Medvedev brilliantly signed the TV camera 'siuuu' in an extra swipe at the annoying Aussie crowd.

    The Russian star was frustrated by the constant use of the boo-like noise during his blockbuster showdown with Nick Kyrgios, whom he beat 7-6 6-4 4-6 6-2.

    But before leaving the court, he could not resist one final dig as he was handed the pen to write on the lens

  • Kostas Lianos

    Sakkari's bizarre celebration

    Maria Sakkari defeated Zheng Qinwen in the Australian Open's Second Round.

    Following her match point, Sakkari pointed towards the stands and placed her finger on her nose, presumably asking for silence.

    The Greek star appeared to be making that gesture towards the area where her teams was sitting.

    She then gave the thumbs up and her team returned the favour

    GETTY IMAGES
  • Kostas Lianos

    Rublev Covid admission

    Andrei Rublev has revealed he was allowed into Australia with COVID-19 despite the recent saga involving Novak Djokovic.

    Rublev told Sport Klub: “I am not being tested personally now because I just got over the coronavirus.

    “When I flew to Australia, I was still positive, but the level of Covid SS, as it is called, I will not lie, it was very low and not dangerous.

    “I was allowed to enter the country. In addition, I spent more than 10 days in quarantine”

  • Kostas Lianos

    Daniel reacts

    Taro Daniel opened up about his shock victory over British legend Andy Murray.

    Daniel said: "It's amazing, winning a match like this in front of so many people. It's unbelievable, thank you.

    "It was an amazing level from me. I got a bit nervous in the third set. I tried not to make too big a deal of this match, playing Andy Murray.

    "Even if it was against me, I was trying to feel the energy [in the crowd]. I felt goosebumps, it was amazing"

  • Kostas Lianos

    Raducanu report

    Emma Raducanu was dumped out of the Australian Open's second round after suffering blisters on her racket hand.

    Raducanu suffered the hand injury in the early stages of the first set and despite the determination not to roll over, she was eventually knocked out 6-4 4-6 6-3 after two-and-a-half hours by world No98 Danka Kovinic.

    It was the first time the British No1 had been defeated in a completed Grand Slam match – her 2021 Wimbledon exit was due to an early retirement following breathing problems experienced on court.

    It was a sad, unfortunate way to leave Melbourne and there will always be a case of ‘What if?’ as she missed out on a potential third-round clash against her idol Simona Halep

  • Kostas Lianos

    Home support for Sakkari

    Greek star Maria Sakkari had the Australian crowd by her side during her victory over Zheng Qinwen.

    The fans showed their support by singing Greece's winning song from Eurovision 2005.

    They sand Helena Paparizou's 'My Number One' and helped Sakkari move to the next round.

    Check it out:

  • Kostas Lianos

    Kovinic reacts

    Danka Kovinic praised Emma Raducanu after beating and eliminating her from the Australian Open.

    Kovinic said: "It was a really nice experience to play Emma here and make the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time after many years.

    "Emma has had amazing results, winning a Grand Slam at such a young age. She is an amazing talent. I'm just so happy I could play such a high level.

    "I was a little bit low in my energy through the third set so I tried to focus on myself, not show much emotion and save my energy"

  • Sunni Upal

    Match stats

  • Sunni Upal

    End of the road

    The blisters clearly caused Raducanu a problem, but she'll make no excuses.

    A gracious shake of the hand with her victorious opponent and she takes her leave.

  • Sunni Upal

    EMMA RADUCANU OUT!

    The grand slam run is over for Emma Raducanu.

    The fairytale of New York will not be repeated her in Melbourne – she has lost in the second round to Danka Kovinic.

    Emma will be disappointed having beaten Sloane Stephens in the first round and with the potential for a showdown with Simona Halep in the third.

    But it's the end of her Australian adventure.

    Kovinic wins 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in just shy of two hours and 40 minutes.

  • Sunni Upal

    Kovinic 6-4 4-6 *5-3 Raducanu

    Better serving from Raducanu – and she asks Kovinic the question. Can she serve it out for a place in the third round?

    Judging by that last slash at a forehand, the Montenegrin might be a tad nervous.

    .Credit: Getty
  • Sunni Upal

    Kovinic 6-4 4-6 5-2* Raducanu

    A dominant game from Kovinic and she holds to love to move just one away from victory.

    Raducanu is flat at the moment. She needs one final incredible effort.

    Source: Read Full Article