Tennis

Australian Open: Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep bow out at first hurdle

Updated 1558 GMT (2358 HKT) January 19, 2016
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Rafael Nadal was knocked out in the first round of the Australian Open for the first time in his career after losing 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 3-6 7-6 (4-7) 6-2 to Fernando Verdasco. Michael Dodge/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
The victory was only the third in 17 encounters that Verdasco has managed over his fellow Spaniard Nadal. His reward is a second-round clash against Dudi Sela of Israel. WILLIAM WEST/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Nadal, who was dumped out of Wimbledon in the second round last year and the third round at the U.S. Open, has not triumphed in a grand slam since 2014's French Open. WILLIAM WEST/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
It was also a day to forget for second seed Simona Halep as she was knocked out of the first round by China's Zhang Shuai. Mark Kolbe/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Zhang, who won out 6-4 6-3, was reduced to tears after winning her first ever match at a grand slam at the 15th attempt. SAEED KHAN/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Second seed Andy Murray made light work of his first-round tie against Germany's Alexander Zverev, securing a 6-1 6-2 6-3 win. SAEED KHAN/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
The Brit saw off Zverev earlier in the month at the Hopman Cup and will now face Australian Sam Grot in the second round. SAEED KHAN/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
There was another surprise result in the women's draw on day two as Venus Williams was knocked out by Johanna Konta, with the world No. 47 winning 6-4 6-2. WILLIAM WEST/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka, the 2014 Australian Open winner, advanced to the next round after his opponent Dmitry Tursunov was forced into early retirement through injury, Mark Kolbe/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Belarus' 14th seed Victoria Azarenka salutes the Melbourne crowd after beating Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium 6-0 6-0. Michael Dodge/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Former Formula One driver Mark Webber was among those in attendance at the Rod Laver Arena during the second day of the Australian Open. Ryan Pierse/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Fans get up close and personal to Novak Djokovic during a practice session at Melbourne Park. Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Spectators at the Rod Laver Arena take in the all-Australian clash between Lleyton Hewitt and James Duckworth. Hewitt claimed a 7-6 6-2 6-4 victory. Michael Dodge/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images