Katie Boulter won the first ever tiebreak to 10 points at the Australian Open. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Katie Boulter won the first ever tiebreak to 10 points at the Australian Open. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

The Australian Open “blew it” when the first ever match-deciding third set tiebreak unfolded at Melbourne Park on Monday.

Still celebrating her recent milestone of signing for the same agency as David Beckham and football megastar Neymar, Britain’s Katie Boulter made history by becoming the first winner of an Australian Open first-to-10 third set tiebreak.

Unfortunately, the moment will be remembered for Boulter’s brain fart in celebrating as if she had won the match when she went up 7-4 in the tiebreak against former Aussie Open semi-finalist Ekaterina Makarova.

Boulter jumped to the net after clinching a 7-4 lead before realising she needed another three points to progress to the second round.

In an attempt to avoid marathon deciding sets, the opening grand slam of the year has undergone a rule change in 2019. If the deciding set is tied at 6-6, players square off in a first-to-10 tiebreak.

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Boulter will face Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, who won her first ever main draw match at the Australian Open, defeating Russian qualifier Anna Kalinskaya 6-1 6-4. Despite her lack of track record in Melbourne, Sabalenka is seeded 11th and is the third-favourite to win the whole tournament in betting markets.

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Fifth seed Kevin Anderson avoided a scare, dropping a set but eventually prevailing against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-3 5-7 6-2 6-1.

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Women’s No.2 seed Angelique Kerber moved through to the second round in straight sets, defeating Polona Hercog 6-2 6-2.

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Australia’s top-ranked woman is in action later tonight, with No. 15 seed Ash Barty battling Luksika Kumkhum from 7pm.

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ORDER OF PLAY (All courts from 11am AEDT unless stated)

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Rod Laver Arena

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30-Maria Sharapova (RUS) def Harriet Dart (GBR), 6-0 6-0

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2-Rafael Nadal (ESP) def James Duckworth (AUS), 6-4 6-3 7-5

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2-Angelique Kerber (GER) def Polona Hercog (SLO), 6-2 6-2

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From 7pm

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Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) v 3-Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)

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Denis Istomin (UZB) v 3-Roger Federer (SUI)

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Margaret Court Arena

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Danielle Collins (USA) def 14-Julia Georges (GER), 2-6 7-6(5) 6-4

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5-Sloane Stephens (USA) def Taylor Townsend (USA), 6-4 6-2

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27-Alex de Minaur (AUS) def Pedro Sousa (POR), 6-4 7-5 6-4

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From 7pm

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15-Ashleigh Barty (AUS) v Luksika Kumkhum (THA)

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6-Marin Cilic (CRO) v Bernard Tomic (AUS)

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Melbourne Arena

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5-Kevin Anderson (RSA) def Adrian Mannarino (FRA), 6-3 5-7 6-2 6-1

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Maria Sakkari (GRE) def 22-Jelena Ostapenko (LAT), 6-1 3-6 6-2

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13-Kyle Edmund (GBR) v Tomas Berdych (CZE)

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Not before 6pm

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22-Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) v Andy Murray (GBR)

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Not before 7pm

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8-Petra Kvitova (CZE) v Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK)

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1573 Arena

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19-Caroline Garcia (FRA) def Jessika Poncet (FRA), 6-2 6-3

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20-Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) def Janko Tipsarevic (SRB), 4-6 6-3 6-1 6-4

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9-Kiki Bertens (NED) def Alison Riske (USA), 6-3 6-3

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Not before 5pm

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Matthew Ebden (AUS) v Jan-Lennard Struff (GER)

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Court 3

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11-Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) def Anna Kalinskaya (RUS), 6-1 6-4

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14-Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) def Matteo Berrettini (ITA), 6-7(3) 6-4 6-3 7-6(4)

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Yafan Wang (CHN) def Ellen Perez (AUS), 6-4 6-0

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Feliciano Lopez (ESP) v Jordan Thompson (AUS)

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Other Aussies in action

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Court 7

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First match: Astra Sharma (AUS) def Priscilla Hon (AUS), 7-5 4-6 6-1

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Second match: Kimberly Birrell (AUS) def Paula Badosa Gibert (ESP), 6-4 6-2

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Fourth match: Federico Delbonis (ARG) v John Millman (AUS)

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Court 8

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Second match: Zoe Hives (AUS) def Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA), 6-1 6-2

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Court 13

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Second match: Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) def Jason Kubler (AUS), 6-4 7-6(1) 2-6 6-3

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Court 14

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Third match: Marc Polmans (AUS) v Denis Kudla (USA)

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Follow Day 1 of the 2019 Australian Open in our live blog below.

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If you can’t see it, tap here.

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Ageless Roger Federer said Sunday he was in a confident mood and warned his rivals he was “playing good tennis” as he aims for a third successive Australian Open title. Follow live below!

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The Swiss master enjoyed a successful Hopman Cup warm-up in Perth and knows that at even the grand old age of 37 he has a great chance of a record seventh Melbourne crown and 21st major victory.

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“I’m playing good tennis. I’m confident that I think it needs a good performance by my opponent probably to beat me,” said the third seed, who opens his defence against Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin in Monday’s night match on Rod Laver Arena.

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The dual defending champion headlines night one’s action, along with top-ranked Aussie, 15th seed Ash Barty. She faces Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum on Margaret Court Arena.

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ALL THE ACTION FROM AUSTRALIAN OPEN DAY 1

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THE DJOKER-LED ‘WAR’ SET TO DRIVE MEN’S TENNIS INTO CRISIS

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Earlier there was good news for Barty as she now cannot face a seeded opponent until the fourth round, with No.22 Jelena Ostapenko losing to Greece’s Maria Sakkari. Sakkari will play Aussie Astra Sharma on Wednesday.

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Also featuring in Monday’s night session are defending women’s champion Caroline Wozniacki, who plays before Federer on Rod Laver Arena, while Aussie Bernard Tomic faces a tough test against 2018 runner-up Marin Cilic in the second match on Margaret Court Arena.

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A buoyant Federer revealed he had enjoyed a successful break coming into the 2019 season.

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“Throughout my career, I’ve been very lucky that in the off-seasons I never had any setbacks,” he told reporters at Melbourne Park.

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“What I can say is the off-season was great for me. I think maybe it showed a little bit at the Hopman Cup already. Again, look, I’m playing tomorrow. We’ll see how it’s going to be here in Melbourne.”

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Federer’s first-round opponent Istomin caused a massive upset in Melbourne two years ago when he knocked out defending champion Novak Djokovic in the second round, outlasting the Serb over five sets.

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“I think the focus really is on those early rounds, especially tomorrow,” said Federer, whose victory against Marin Cilic in last year’s final was his 20th Grand Slam title.

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“I know what Denis did to Novak. I watched basically the entire game a couple years ago when he beat Novak here.

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“I’ve had some tough ones against him in the past. He can play well in fast courts, and that’s what it’s going to be a little bit here as well,” added the world number three, who has won all six previous encounters against Istomin.

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Federer has skipped the European clay court season in recent years as he tries to manage his workload to extend a remarkable career, which shows no signs of slowing.

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He said he hadn’t made a decision on whether to play on clay this year and wasn’t sure why he had not suffered major injuries like Rafael Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray, who will retire this year with chronic hip pain despite being six years younger than Federer.

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“I think you also need a little bit of luck. Maybe also the way I play tennis, maybe it’s smoother than the other guys,” said Federer, renowned for his flowing movement around the court.

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“It just maybe looks that way. I work extremely hard in the matches as well. It just maybe doesn’t come across so much.”

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NIGHT 1 ORDER OF PLAY

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Rod Laver Arena (from 7pm)

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Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) v 3-Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)

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Denis Istomin (UZB) v 3-Roger Federer (SUI)

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Margaret Court Arena (from 7pm)

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15-Ashleigh Barty (AUS) v Luksika Kumkhum (THA)

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6-Marin Cilic (CRO) v Bernard Tomic (AUS)

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Melbourne Arena (from 6pm)

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22-Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) v Andy Murray (GBR)

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8-Petra Kvitova (CZE) v Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK)

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1573 Arena (from 5pm)

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Matthew Ebden (AUS) v Jan-Lennard Struff (GER)

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If you can’t see the blog, tap here.

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– with AFP

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