Defending champion Roger Federer is through to the Australian Open second round after he secured a straight sets win over Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia.
Federer, 36, outclassed Bedene 6-3 6-4 6-3 in 99 minutes in his quest to win sixth Australian Open and 20th Grand Slam title in Melbourne.
The Swiss tennis legend will now face Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany in the second round.
Speaking after his victory, Federer said: “I am hoping for another good year.”
“I am not sure it will go that well because last year went so well and I’m a year older, Rafa’s looking in tip-top shape and others guys are coming back.
“Last year was a fairytale and I can’t control everything. Last year could be my favourite year of my career but I am hoping to stay healthy, give myself chances and play my very best in the big matches like last year.” he concluded.
Former champions Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka had earlier booked their spots in the second round following respective victories over Donald Young and Richardas Berankis.
14th seed Djokovic marked his return from an elbow injury to the big league with a 6-1 6-2 6-4 win over Donald Young of Australia.
The six-time champion used a remodelled service action made to take pressure off his elbow, and it was very effective as he dropped serve just once.
The Serbian will next face a tough clash with France’s world number 39 Gael Monfils in the second round.
Ninth seed Stanislas Wawrinka was also victorious in his first round match following his 6-3 6-4 2-6 7-6 (7-2) win over Ricardidas Berankis of Lithuania on his return from having knee surgery to cure a problem.
The 32-year old took 2 hours and 47 minutes to see off his opponent and he will now play American Tennys Sandgren for a place in the third round.
On his return to action, Wawrinka said: “It was a battle and I’m really happy to win my first match here after six months out.”
“For sure I still have some pain. It depends the way I’m moving, how I push on it. But in general, it’s going in the right direction. That’s the best news.” he added.
Canadian Milos Raonic suffered his earliest Grand Slam exit since 2011 after the 22nd seeded player was beaten by Lukas Lacko of Slovakia in the first round.
The world number 86 defeated him 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 6-4 7-6 (7-4).
On his exit, Raonic said: “I wasn’t sharp and I struggled physically, thankfully not from injury, but from fitness and preparedness and that caught up with me a lot.”
Fourth seed Alexander Zverev is also through to the second round after his name 6-1 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 win over Thomas Fabbiano of Italy while fifth seed Dominic Thiem of Austria saw off the challenges of Argentinian Guido Pella 6-4 6-4 6-4.
Seventh seed David Goffin of Belgium hit 55 winners en route securing a second round birth with a 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 6-2 6-4 win over German qualifier Matthias Bachinger.
13th seeded American Sam Querrey is into the next round after beating Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-3 6-4 6-2 but his compatriot Roberto Bautista Agut was not lucky following his exit from the tournament.
The 20th seed was beaten 6-1 7-5 7-5 by another Spanish Fernando Verdasco, who is ranked 40th.
Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro is back in the world’s top 10 since 2014 and he didn’t make any mistake in dispatching American Frances Tiafoe 6-3 6-4 6-3 thereby securing a second round spot.
- / 11 hours ago
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