Djokovic made to work hard in Melbourne


Novak Djokovic, the defending champion at the 2009 Australian Open, began his campaign with a 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 triumph over battling Italian, Andrea Stoppini, who is ranked 220th in the ATP rankings.

Djokovic made light work of the Italian in the opening set but was required to come from a break down in the second and a 0-4 deficit in the third.

Djokovic maintained his composure to wrap up the match in 1 hour and 54 minutes. Afterwards the third seed said he’s optimistic of going deep into the event.

“I have never been in the position to defend a Grand Slam title so for me it’s a new experience but a big challenge and hopefully I can repeat the success,” he said.

The Serb will play Jeremy Chardy in round three after the Frenchman beat Brazilian Marcos Daniel 6-4, 6-4, 6-1.

Seventh seed Andy Roddick cruised through his first match when he demolished Swede Bjorn Rehnquist 6-0, 6-2, 6-2. The three-times Aussie Open semi-finalist who has recently teamed up with new coach Larry Stefanki faced no break points, smashed nine aces and claimed victory in 105 minutes. Despite his impressive performance, Roddick was unusually downbeat after the match.

“My results last year, especially in slams, don’t warrant me being talked about,” said Roddick, who plays Belgian Xavier Malisse in round two.

“The thing about sports is no one really remembers yesterday, and that’s fair. You have to go out and prove yourself on a daily basis. I have no problem with that.”

Eighth seed Juan Martin Del Potro stayed on course for a quarter-final meeting with Federer by taking out Mischa Zverev of Germany 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Federer will face Andreas Seppi of Italy in the night match on the Rod Laver Arena later on Monday.

Eleventh seed David Ferrer was pushed to the limits in a five-set victory over Germanys Denis Gremelmayr, eventually prevailing 6-1, 6-7, 6-1, 6-7, 6-4.

Fomer finalist Marcos Baghdatis of Greece ousted Julien Benneteau, which gave him his first win over the Frenchman. Baghdatis, sporting a much shorter hairstyle this year, will face Swedens Robin Soderling in round two.

Feliciano Lopez of Spain was the first big name to go out. The 27th seed went down 6-3, 7-6, 4-6, 4-6, 16-14 to Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller.

Home supporters had plenty to cheer on day one when 16-year-old Australian Bernard Tomic notched up his first-ever tour level win by beating Italian Potito Starace 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 7-6.

The victory made the teenager the youngest player ever to win a main draw mens match at the Australian Open.

“It’s a dream come true to win a first round in my first Grand Slam,” Tomic said. “I’m just thrilled that I could pull off a win today. With the crowd behind me, it was an unbelievable experience.

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