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Rock-solid start for Novak Djokovic in return to tennis

Rock-solid start for Novak Djokovic in return to tennis

Defending champion Roger Federer was a straight-sets victor against Slovak Aljaž Bedene to reach the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Tuesday.

Novak Djokovic returned to grand slam tennis and immediately looked a potential Australian Open title contender in a straightforward win over Donald Young.

He is playing in his 72nd Major, which extends his own Open record, and this first Major match-win of 2018 takes his tally to 326 overall and 88 in Australia-records both. His stats were good, dropping serve just once, and he never allowed Young, the world No 63, any chance to really believe he might win.

Raonic, a semi-finalist and quarter-finalist in the last two years, was another player coming back from an injury-ravaged 2017 but, unlike Djokovic and Wawrinka, he was unable to find a way through.

"I'll take it match by match and I think I have a good chance", said the tall tattooed Czech, who made the quarterfinals in Australia a year ago.

"I feel like sometimes some players have gotten a little bit too robot like". Comedian Will Ferrell stepped out of the crowd and, slipping into character as Ron Burgundy, conducted the post-match interview.

Ferrell asked Federer such posers as whether he felt like a silky gazelle on court, whether he was a witch or a vampire, and whether his secret was eating wombat meat.

"Maybe. Maybe not. Don't they get eaten at the end", an amused Federer asked.

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The Swiss at 36 years could surpass Andre Agassi as the oldest Number 1 in male tennis history.

Out Kristina Mladenovic and Petra Kvitova.

On the men's side, fourth seed Alexander Zverev and fifth seed Dominic Thiem enjoyed straightforward openers.

Third seed Garbine Muguruza, sixth seed Karolina Pliskova, eight seed Caroline Garcia, and ninth seed Johanna Konta all progressed in straight sets.

The 30-year-old Russian, ranked 61, breezed past Maria 6-1, 6-4 to make the second round. After all, two more over-30s have already won two of the five tournaments played this year, Gael Monfils in Doha, Gilles Simon in Pune.

World number one Simona overcame an ankle injury to move on to the next round after a 7-6 (5) 6-1 victory over Australian teenager Destanee Aiava.

The Romanian will take on Canada's Eugenie Bouchard in the second round after she beat Oceane Dodin 6-3, 7-6 (5).

One of the stars making a comeback from injury is six-time Australian Open victor Novak Djokovic.