Katie Boulter earns historic win against Ekaterina Makarova at Australian Open
Dan Evans also progresses through to a likely second-round meeting with Roger Federer; Heather Watson and Harriet Dart suffer early exits
By Mathieu Wood
Last Updated: 14/01/19 1:34pm
Katie Boulter made Grand Slam singles history as she won the first-ever contested 10-point match tie-break at the Australian Open to defeat Ekaterina Makarova and reach the second round.
The world No 97 celebrated prematurely when she led 7-4, forgetting the introduction of the extended deciding set tiebreak this year, but Boulter regained her composure to complete a 6-0 4-6 7-6 (10-6) victory against the 2015 semi-finalist from Russia.
Boulter was one of seven Britons in action on the opening day, with Dan Evans also moving into the second round in assured fashion but Heather Watson and Harriet Dart both fell to heavy first-round defeats in the sweltering heat.
Boulter had gained entry to the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time in Melbourne and demonstrated why she has moved inside the world's top 100 with a determined performance, including some impressive power hitting off her forehand.
The 22-year-old hit 53 winners during the contest which lasted almost two-and-a-half hours as she registered her first main draw singles victory at a major outside of last year's Wimbledon.
Boulter will next face a difficult challenge in world No 11 Aryna Sabalenka on Wednesday.
Evans, whose best Grand-Slam performance was at Melbourne Park in 2017, defeated fellow qualifier Tatsuma Ito 7-5 6-1 7-6 (10-8).
The former world No 41, who returned from a year-long drugs ban last April, is playing at his first Grand Slam since the French Open in 2017 and is expected to meet defending champion Roger Federer next.
Evans said: "It's not very often you get to play Roger on a pretty big court, so I look forward to it.
"I feel pretty good. I'm getting there slowly by the day. I think I'm more mature, but I've obviously got to try and be smarter on the court - like when I get a chance, to take it straight away."
Watson, who was replaced by Boulter as the British No 2 on Monday, succumbed to a 6-1 6-2 defeat against 31st seed Petra Martic.
The world No 108 has now suffered a first-round exit at each of the last three Grand Slams.
Watson said: "I haven't been like myself on court lately. I've got to change something. I'm not going to continue like this."
Dart won three matches to qualify for the season's opening Grand Slam but was unable to offer much resistance against 2008 champion Maria Sharapova in the day's opening match on Rod Laver Arena.
The 22-year-old struggled under the spotlight, winning only 24 points of the 84 played, in a comprehensive 6-0 6-0 defeat against the former world No 1.
Meanwhile, defending champion Caroline Wozniacki opened her campaign with a comfortable 6-3 6-4 victory against Belgium's Alison Van Uytvanck.
The third seed broke serve once in each set as she proved too consistent for her opponent in the opening match of the night session on Rod Laver Arena.
Petra Kvitova, who arrived at Melbourne Park on the back of winning the Sydney International, also enjoyed routine progress to the second round as the two-time Wimbledon champion eased past Magdalena Rybarikova 6-3 6-2.
Sloane Stephens also avoided an early exit as she defeated fellow American Taylor Townsend 6-4 6-2 but 22nd seed Jelena Ostapenko was knocked out by Maria Sakkari 6-1 3-6 6-2.
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