Djokovic moves past Bedene

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Published: Tuesday 20th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Top seed Novak Djokovic and defending champion Stan Wawrinka wasted no time in booking their place in the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

While a record-equalling 11 seeds crashed out of the women’s singles in the first round, Djokovic and Wawrinka made short work of their opening opponents in Melbourne.

Djokovic, who is seeking to become the second man in history to win five or more titles in the year’s first grand slam, defeated Slovenian qualifier Aljaz Bedene 6-3 6-2 6-4 in an hour and 49 minutes, while Wawrinka needed just 89 minutes to dispatch Turkey’s Marsel Ilhan 6-1 6-4 6-2.

“The A ustralian Open has been very dear to me,” said Djokovic, whose 25-match winning streak in Melbourne was ended by Wawrinka in last year’s quarter-finals.

“It’s my most successful g rand slam. I’ve been playing some of my best tennis throughout my career on these courts.

“Obviously the start was a bit slow from my side. He had a couple of break points and the match could have gone a different way in the first set.

“I had never played him, watched him only once. He did surprise me. I had a difficult time to read his serve.

“The courts are playing a little bit faster s o if you have a big serve, know how to use it, it’s a big advantage on these courts.”

Djokovic postponed his pre-tournament press conference on Saturday due to illness and added: ” It hasn’t been an ideal couple of weeks in terms of health and preparation, but I fought my way through it. Now it’s behind me. I’m only looking forward.

“I think I did well in terms of responding to the slow start today, feeling a little bit rusty on the court. So hopefully the next one will be even better.”

Wawrinka faced just two break points in his victory over Ilhan and enjoyed returning to Rod Laver Arena, scene of his dramatic victory over Rafael Nadal in last year’s final.

“I t was great. I was happy to be back on the court,” the Swiss star said. “I can feel that I have a lot of support here and it’s always nice to come back like that and to feel the crowd behind you.

“For sure it’s great, but it’s still the beginning of the tournament. It’s just one match, now I need to be ready for the next one.”

Fifth seed Kei Nishikori and eighth seed Milos Raonic also advanced to the last 64 without dropping a set against Nicolas Almagro and Illya Marchenko respectively, while ninth seed David Ferrer recovered from losing the opening set to defeat Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci.

Seeded players were not immune from early exits however, with 16th seed Fabio Fognini and 21st seed Alexandr Dolgopolov beaten by Alejandro Gonzalez and Paolo Lorenzi respectively.

Published: Tuesday 20th January 2015 by The News Editor

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