64 players from the men's draw appeared on the court for the opening day of men's Australian Open 2023. Out of all the 16 seeds who started their campaign today, Borna Coric and Lorenzo Musetti are the only players who got eliminated from the tournament. The Italian lost to Lloyd Harris in 5 sets, and the last set ended with a super tie-break won by the representant of South Africa 10:4, while Coric turned out to be worse than 21-year-old Jiri Lehecka, who won every set 6:3. The remaining 14 seeded players won their matches in 3 or 4 sets.
The highlight of men's action today was an opening match of reigning champion Rafael Nadal, who were facing Jack Draper in the most interesting duel on Rod Laver Arena. Spanish great champion starts his title defence campaign with a very unlike to his class run of 6 losses out of last 7 matches. Draper though, is on the rising trend in his career's early stages, seen as one of those who can mix up in the top of the field sooner than later. And it was a though match as expected. Nadal needed 54 minutes to clinch the first set after using his second breakpoint in the set, as late as in 12th game, making it 7-5. Then, the play of Spaniard suffered a downfall with a double break for Draper after the start of second set. Nadal was even close to lose three service games in a row, but got out of breakpoints within a score 0-4. Nevertheless, 2-6 for Draper. Third set was shaky again. Nadal raised his level a bit, breaking Draper in fourth game and seemingly taking control of the match. Draper broke back in 7th game, but serving to stay in the set was a challenge again for the Brit who gave two chances for his great opponent. Nadal prevailed to take the set lead once again.
Fourth set started with another long game and early break earned by Draper. It could foreshadow a passionate battle with possible 5th set settlement, but Rafa pushed forward showing the performance much closer to his abilities than all the displays from recent weeks. He won 6 games in a row and grabbed 4th set with a regaining the hope, that he is still in the pack of main contenders. However, the Spaniard needed as much as 3:43h to make it through.
Among the other Grand Slam contenders, Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner made a very good impression in particular. Medvedev gave away just 3 games to Marcos Giron, while Sinner conceded only 6 against Kyle Edmund. From the group of players from of ranking's top 10, Hubert Hurkacz and Stefanos Tsiptsipas also won in three sets, against Pedro Martinez and Quentin Halys respectively. The 2014 champion Stanislaw Wawrinka ended his participation in the tournament, who after a long battle turned out to be worse than the Slovak Alex Molcan. It is worth mentioning the four Grand Slam debutants for whom the first career's Grand Slam match wins incomparably surpassed their previous achievements. Interestingly, only one of them - Juncheng Shang, lost any set. The 17 years old Chinese was one of the day's sensations, winning his maiden Grand Slam match with experienced Oscar Otte 6-2 6-4 6-7 7-5, having even the chance to close it in straight sets. Dalibor Svrcina, Yosuke Watanuki, Constant Lestienne won their matches 3-0 and can untired prepare for the next most important matches in their sports career.