Roger Federer has no desire to revisit the last time he played John Millman at a major but insists he'll be ready for the home favourite at the Australian Open on Friday.

Federer made serene progress into round three in Melbourne with a 6-1 6-4 6-1 defeat of Filip Krajinovic and will now face Millman, a 6-4 7-5 6-3 victor over Hubert Hurkacz.

Their only previous grand slam meeting came at the 2018 US Open when the Australian won a round of 16 encounter in four sets in blistering heat in New York.

Asked if that match had pushed him further than any other physically, he said: "Yeah, definitely. I don't know anything remotely close. I was just happy it was over.

"I never had that [before]. I rather go back in time [and think I'd like to] play that match again. But I don't have that feeling about that match. I was just happy the US Open was over and I could focus.

"I think it was a combination of many things that went wrong for me on that day, plus the opponent was ready and tough as nails.

"I have no regrets. I tried everything in the match itself, it was just not meant to be that day. I hit the wall."

Conditions in Melbourne have been much kinder for Federer so far, both meteorologically and in terms of the draw.

The third seed was barely tested by first-round opponent Steve Johnson or Krajinovic, but rubbished suggestions that would leave him undercooked.

"I prefer this much more than being overcooked," said the Swiss.

"I prefer it this way because you have always extra left in the tank if you need it."

Federer is likely to have to dig deeper against Millman, especially as he may be in the unusual position of not being the crowd favourite.

Millman has already suggested the match should be moved away from Rod Laver Arena due to the number of corporate fans that inhabit the main show court at Melbourne Park - a request that is likely to fall on deaf ears - but Federer is more than happy to play in a raucous atmosphere.

He said: "I'm always happy when the crowd gets involved.

"I don't choose which court I play on. I don't know if he was joking or if he was serious [about moving].

"You would think a match like this should be played on Rod Laver Arena maybe. I don't know if the other seeds have good match-ups as well.

"He knows Margaret Court Arena better [and] Melbourne Arena but I haven't thought about it.

"I figured this was always going to be on Rod Laver Arena but I'm ready to go anywhere, whatever it takes."

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were untroubled, but Grigor Dimitrov was among five seeds to fall at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Federer produced an excellent performance in a straight-sets thrashing of Filip Krajinovic on Rod Laver Arena.

The Swiss great had received good news before even going on court after three seeds fell in his quarter of the draw, with Fabio Fognini only narrowly avoiding that fate.

Earlier, Djokovic dropped just seven games on his way to a thrashing of Tatsuma Ito in Melbourne.

 

FEDERER, DJOKOVIC EASE THROUGH

Having lost a set in the opening-round victory over Jan-Lennard Struff, Djokovic suffered no such setback against Ito, winning 6-1 6-4 6-2.

A record seven-time champion in Melbourne and 16-time grand slam winner, Djokovic brushed past Ito on the back of 31 winners.

Federer was even more impressive later in the day, crushing Djokovic's Serbian compatriot Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1.

The 20-time grand slam champion looked in fabulous form with 42 winners and just 14 unforced errors, reaching the third round in Melbourne for the 21st straight year.

Federer will next face John Millman, who upset 31st seed Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 7-5 6-3. The Australian stunned Federer at the US Open in 2018.

 

DIMITROV AMONG SEEDS TO CRASH OUT

Dimitrov, a semi-finalist in 2017, bowed out in a surprise 6-4 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (10-3) loss to Tommy Paul.

The Bulgarian 18th seed went up by a break twice in the final set, but lost seven consecutive points from 3-3 in the match tie-break.

Matteo Berrettini, the eighth seed who reached the US Open semi-finals, was edged out by Tennys Sandgren 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 4-6 2-6 7-5.

Sandgren reached the quarter-finals in 2018 and will face Sam Querrey in an all-American third-round clash.

British 30th seed Dan Evans also made a second-round exit, losing to Djokovic's next opponent, Yoshihito Nishioka, 6-4 6-3 6-4.

 

CILIC, RAONIC ADVANCE AS TSITSIPAS GETS FREE PASS

Marin Cilic, runner-up in 2018, eliminated 21st seed Benoit Paire in a thriller.

The Croatian needed three hours, 33 minutes to overcome Paire 6-2 6-7 (6-8) 3-6 6-1 7-6 (10-3).

Next up for Cilic is a man he has lost to twice at the Australian Open in Roberto Bautista Agut, the Spanish ninth seed too good for Michael Mmoh 5-7 6-2 6-4 6-1.

Milos Raonic has reached at least the Australian Open quarter-finals four times and the Canadian has shown impressive form early on this year.

The 29-year-old served 19 aces in a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over Cristian Garin on Wednesday and next faces 2019 semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas advanced without hitting a ball after Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew due to a muscle strain.

 

FOGNINI TAKEN THE DISTANCE BY THOMPSON

It is proving to be an arduous campaign for Fognini, who surrendered a two-set lead before holding his nerve in a decisive tie-break with home hope Jordan Thompson.

The Italian was taken the distance in his first-round meeting with Reilly Opelka after losing the first two sets, and this time it was the 12th seed who almost choked on a healthy lead.

Fognini hurt himself when punching his racket in frustration and was called for a foot-fault in the fifth-set breaker, but he got the job done in a memorable 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 3-6 4-6 7-6 (10-4) triumph that took more than four hours to complete. 

Roger Federer continued his perfect record in the Australian Open second round with an impressive win over Filip Krajinovic on Wednesday.

Federer moved into the third round in Melbourne for the 21st straight year by beating Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena.

The Swiss great has never lost before the third round at the year's first grand slam and he retained that record with another strong performance.

Federer quickly put Krajinovic on the back foot and while his level dropped slightly, the 20-time grand slam champion was in fine form to progress after one hour and 32 minutes.

He stamped his authority early, breaking in the second game, which featured a brilliant backhand pass down the line.

It was 4-0 after just 13 minutes as Federer produced a forehand winner to break again and take complete control of the contest and the first set was over soon after.

Federer broke again to begin the second set as his flawless display left Krajinovic struggling to find answers, while he produced a stunning cross-court forehand winner on the run in the fifth game.

But as Federer's incredibly high level started to drop, Krajinovic pounced to break back in the eighth game when the six-time Australian Open champion sent a backhand long.

Federer restored his lead in the next game when Krajinovic netted a backhand volley and made no mistake in serving out the second set.

For the third straight set, Federer broke in Krajinovic's first service game, handed the advantage following a double fault.

Krajinovic needed treatment on his right arm early in the third set, but that did little to slow Federer, who advanced to a meeting with John Millman.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Roger Federer [3] bt Filip Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Federer – 42/14
Krajinovic – 22/24

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Federer – 14/0
Krajinovic – 4/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Federer – 7/14
Krajinovic – 1/3

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Federer – 69
Krajinovic – 74

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Federer – 77/62
Krajinovic – 58/20

TOTAL POINTS
Federer – 89
Krajinovic – 56

Novak Djokovic revealed he offered Filip Krajinovic some advice ahead of his Serbian countryman's Australian Open clash with Roger Federer.

Federer and Krajinovic will do battle on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday, while Djokovic eased into the third round earlier in the day.

Djokovic said he had spoken to Krajinovic, 27, ahead of the second-round clash with the Swiss great.

"We spoke last night. I thought he fought well to win his opening-round match. He was very close to losing that match. He won in five sets. That was great for his confidence," he told a news conference after beating Tatsuma Ito 6-1 6-4 6-2.

"Obviously today is a completely different match-up against Roger. We did speak a little bit about things that he can do to be, I guess, his best self on the court. Again, it doesn't depend only on him.

"It depends how well Roger starts and how well Roger plays. It can be a very interesting match-up. I think Krajinovic is a very talented player and has been around the Tour for a while, knows Roger's game.

"It just depends on how it starts. It can be a long one. It can be a short one. It's going to be interesting to see."

Djokovic continued his fine start to 2020, winning an eighth straight singles match and setting up a clash with Yoshihito Nishioka.

The 16-time grand slam champion was particularly pleased with his serve after sending down 16 aces and not facing a break point against Ito.

"My serve was working extremely well in first round and second round. That's something I worked on in the off-season," Djokovic said.

"That's one of the priorities I guess of the training sessions, trying to get that I think advantage of winning a lot of easy points on the first serve.

"It has been paying off so far I think in the ATP Cup and here with the two matches."

Novak Djokovic had no trouble moving through to the third round of the Australian Open, outclassing wildcard Tatsuma Ito 6-1 6-4 6-2 as his title defence gathered momentum. 

Djokovic was hoping history did not repeat itself on Wednesday, having lost to a wildcard - Denis Istomin - in the second round at Melbourne Park three years ago.

But Djokovic was never threatened as the 16-time grand slam champion swept aside Ito in straight sets on Rod Laver Arena midweek.

In warm but breezy conditions, Djokovic barely raised a sweat as the second seed asserted his authority from the outset against the Japanese underdog.

Djokovic, eyeing his record-extending eighth Australian Open crown, picked his shots with comfort from the baseline, hitting seven winners in a lopsided 22-minute first set.

After racing through the opener, Djokovic - who dropped a set and won in the Australian Open first round for the first time in his career by getting past Jan-Lennard Struff on Monday - faced a sterner test in the second.

Having only won 50 per cent of his first serves in the opening set, Ito improved by winning 20 of 28, though he was broken in the ninth game and it proved decisive for Djokovic.

The third set was similar to the first as Djokovic dismantled Ito with a relentless display to earn another Japanese date - this time against Yoshihito Nishioka.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Novak Djokovic [2] bt Tatsuma Ito 6-1 6-4 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Djokovic – 31/17
Ito – 18/29

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Djokovic – 16/5
Ito – 9/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Djokovic – 5/9
Ito – 0/0

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Djokovic – 72
Ito – 65

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Djokovic – 93/56
Ito – 66/33

TOTAL POINTS
Djokovic – 88
Ito – 53

Stefanos Tsitsipas advanced to the Australian Open third round without hitting a ball after benefitting from Philipp Kohlschreiber's withdrawal.

Sixth seed Tsitsipas was scheduled to face Kohlschreiber on Wednesday, however, the German veteran succumbed to a muscle strain.

Greek star Tsitsipas - last year's semi-finalist - will face either 32nd seed Milos Raonic or Cristian Garin for a spot in the fourth round at Melbourne Park.

Tsitsipas announced himself after stunning Roger Federer en route to the Australian Open semis in 2019, the 21-year-old's run ended by 19-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal.

 

Can Rafael Nadal win his first Australian Open since 2009? The world number one continues his quest against Federico Delbonis in the second round on Thursday.

Only one adrift of Roger Federer's record haul of 20 grand slams, Nadal has reached four finals at Melbourne Park without success since claiming his sole Norman Brookes Challenge Cup 11 years ago.

Nadal did, however, sweep the French and US Open titles last year after he was completely outclassed by Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open decider.

We take a closer look at the 33-year-old as he prepares for another match in Melbourne.

 

Form and results

Nadal had little problems in his straight-sets win against Bolivia's Hugo Dellien. Forced to grind early, the top seed eventually outclassed the world number 73 in just over two hours on Rod Laver Arena. A total of 38 winners and eight breaks proved the difference for the relentlessly consistent Nadal.

R1: bt Dellien 6-2 6-3 6-0

Next up

Nadal - who boasts a 3-0 head-to-head record - will look to maintain his perfect run against Delbonis, though this is the first clash outside of South America. Argentine veteran Delbonis advanced to the second round thanks to a straight-sets victory over Joao Sousa on Tuesday. This is only the second time Delbonis has made it beyond the first round of the Australian Open - he reached the third round in 2016.

Draw

An all-Spanish affair could await Nadal in the third round, with Pablo Carreno Busta looming depending on results. Things could get juicy in the fourth round if the superstar makes it that far. Nick Kyrgios, who has history with Nadal, might stand in the way of a quarter-final berth.

What he said

"I have been a break up twice in the fifth set and I lost. Another time I have been injured in a final, of course, against a great opponent. At that time against an opponent that in that moment I have been, like, 14-0 against him on the head-to-head record. I had a problem on my luck in the final. Then other times, like 2018, I get injured against [Marin] Cilic. I went through a couple of things, more than in New York honestly. But I don't know. Maybe the conditions are better for me in New York than here."

Colombia's Wimbledon and US Open doubles champion Robert Farah was formally placed on provisional suspension on Tuesday following his positive test for a banned steroid.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said the top-ranked men's doubles player had not exercised his right to contend why he should not be temporarily prevented from competing.

Farah and the ITF had confirmed the positive out-of-competition test on January 14, when it was revealed the sample was taken on October 17, 2019, and contained the steroid Bolderone.

He is not entered in the ongoing Australian Open and has blamed the positive test on contaminated meat, with Boldenone frequently used by Colombian farmers to boost growth in cows.

As a matter of procedure, Farah has now been put under the mandatory suspension pending a hearing to resolve the case.

The ITF issued a statement that said: "Robert Farah has been provisionally suspended under article 8.3.1(c) of the 2019 Tennis Anti-Doping Programme, pending determination of the charge against him at a full hearing..."

It added: "Mr Farah had (and retains) the right to apply to the chair of the independent tribunal convened to hear his case why the provisional suspension should not be imposed, but has chosen not to exercise that right to date."

Farah, who turned 33 on Monday, partnered his fellow Colombian Juan Sebastian Cabal to last year's two grand slam wins.

Alexander Zverev says he will donate the full $2.83million Australian Open winner's prize fund to bushfire relief if he goes all the way to win the tournament.

Speaking after his 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 first-round win over Marco Cecchinato, the German pledged to donate $10,000 for every match he wins in Melbourne and "every cent" of the winner's cheque if he goes all the way.

Zverev also played in the Rally for Relief event with a host of other tennis stars prior to the Australian Open and has now made an individual gesture.

"I will donate $10,000 for every match I win here," Zverev said in his on-court interview after beating Italian Cecchinato.

"I know I'm not the favourite, but if I win this event I will donate every cent to the bushfires.

"Obviously Australia is a country that is home for us for over a month every year. We heard what is going on with the bushfires, with the animals and with people losing their homes. So thank you very much, I hope we get a lot of support."

Zverev had a dreadful performance at the ATP Cup as he lost all three of his matches, struggling with his serve in particular.

He had four double faults and dropped serve three times in the win over Cecchinato, while hitting eight aces as part of 35 winners in a match that lasted two hours and 23 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.

Seventh seed Zverev was optimistic over the improvement he showed, adding: "It was a great first-round match, a lot of high-level tennis, especially from the baseline.

"I hope maybe I can do better than the last few years. I'm a year older, not much wiser, but trying my best, practising hard and trying to do the right things."

Rafael Nadal acknowledged he had displayed "caution" in his straightforward first-round win over Hugo Dellien at the Australian Open, while Daniil Medvedev tasted victory in his opening match.

World number one Nadal eased to a 6-2 6-3 6-0 victory in just over two hours at Rod Laver Arena, hitting 38 winners to 21 unforced errors.

Nadal, who had his serve broken twice, stepped it up a gear in a ruthless third set, but initially was more focused on not making any silly mistakes.

"It was a solid start," Nadal said after booking a round-two match against Federico Delbonis, who won his match with Joao Sousa.

"The third set was a great set, I think I played a very good level of tennis. The first two I played with a little bit more caution. 

"I was just trying to not do something very good, but not do something very bad. Just trying to play a solid game with not many mistakes. Just try to do the things I know that I can do, try to put myself on rhythm. 

"That was my goal at the beginning of the match. Then, of course, with an advantage on the score, I just tried to play the way that I really believe I need to play if I want to have a positive result here."

 

MEDVEDEV THROUGH AFTER TIAFOE SCARE

Fourth seed Medvedev dropped a set against Frances Tiafoe but ultimately prevailed 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-2 in two hours and 36 minutes.

World number five Dominic Thiem made an impressive start with a 6-3 7-5 6-2 victory over Adrian Mannarino.

Home hope Nick Kyrgios won two tie-breaks on his way to a win in his match with Lorenzo Sonego, coming out on top 6-2 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-1), while Gael Monfils and Andrey Rublev progressed into round two.

After his troubling performance at the ATP Cup, Alexander Zverev made a positive start in Melbourne with a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 victory against Italian Marco Cecchinato.

ANOTHER CANADIAN STAR FALLS

After Denis Shapovalov fell on day one, 20th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime succumbed to a stunning defeat on Tuesday.

He was beaten by Latvian veteran Ernests Gulbis, who emerged a 7-5 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 winner after three hours and 35 minutes.

"Every time you come to Australia the main goal is the Aussie Open, so it's not good," Auger-Aliassime said. 

"That’s what the results show. But at the same time I am staying calm and positive because I feel I am not far from playing well and winning matches."

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 28th seed, is also out. He pulled out with a back injury while two sets to one down against Australian Alexei Popyrin.

FOGNINI MAKES DRAMATIC ESCAPE

Fabio Fognini started Tuesday two sets down against American Reilly Opelka, but the Italian turned it around to escape with a dramatic 3-6 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (10-5) victory.

In the other matches that had to be completed on day two after rain delays on Monday, Roberto Bautista Agut beat Feliciano Lopez in straight sets, while Milos Raonic and Jannik Sinner also sealed their progress with straight-set wins.

Roger Federer's bid to win a record-equalling seventh Australian Open crown continues against Filip Krajinovic in the second round on Wednesday.

Federer trails Novak Djokovic's record haul of seven titles at Melbourne Park following last year's shock fourth-round exit.

The most successful men's player in history, 20-time grand slam champion Federer has not added to his major tally in two years.

However, the 38-year-old once again looms as a threat and we take a closer look at where the third seed is at ahead of a midweek encounter in Melbourne.

 

Form and results

Federer did not play a lead-up tournament but there were no signs of rust from the Swiss sensation in the opening round. The veteran produced a polished display against Steve Johnson, hitting 34 winners and 20 unforced errors on Monday.

R1: bt Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2

Next up

Krajinovic awaits Federer after a gruelling opening to his campaign at Melbourne Park on Tuesday. The 27-year-old Serbian was on court for almost four hours as he outlasted Quentin Halys 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-1) 3-6 4-6 7-5 on Court 22. He will not have much time to recover, with a daunting midweek showdown with an all-time great.

Draw

If, as expected, Federer sees off Krajinovic under the Rod Laver Arena lights, a third-round meeting with either John Millman or 31st seed Hubert Hurkacz is next. A clash with Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round could also be on the horizon.

What he said

"When you win it's all good. Or even when you make a semis and beyond, you know you're in good shape, plus you're just coming off the off-season so you have the confidence. You have practice, you know, flowing through your body, too. The problem is sometimes when you play too many matches and you don't have that practice block, in a way you're just playing to win, just trying to weasel your way to the next victory and you forget how to properly play tennis. So I think the Australian Open, it's nice if you play well, but there is no drama as if it doesn't go well for the rest of the season. It's worse if later in the season success is not there and you're missing that block of practice and you can't rely on it anymore because it's too far back."

Rafael Nadal insists he is unfazed about potentially winning his 20th grand slam title at the Australian Open.

The world number one started his campaign in Melbourne with a 6-2 6-3 6-0 victory over Hugo Dellien on Tuesday.

After winning two grand slams last year, Nadal is just one away from joining Roger Federer on a men's record 20 major titles.

But the Spaniard is refusing to think about potentially reaching the tally ahead of a second-round match with Federico Delbonis or Joao Sousa.

"No. I think about Sousa or Delbonis. That's all. I think about my practice of tomorrow, try to follow up the level of tennis that I played in the third set. That should be my main goal today," Nadal told a news conference.

"I need to play at my highest level if I want to keep going in the tournament. If I am able to reach my highest level, that's the thing that I have to worry about. If I am able to play at my highest level, normally I am able to produce some good chances. If not, impossible.

"I don't care about 20 or 15 or 16. I just care about try to keep going, keep enjoying my tennis career. It's not like 20 is the number that I need to reach. If I reach 20, fantastic. If I reach 21, better. If I reach 19, super happy about all the things that I did in my tennis career.

"I am very satisfied about my tennis career because I give it all most of the time. That's the only thing that matters because, honestly, it's something I don't really think about.

"I don't think in the future achieving 21 grand slams, for example, I'm going to be happier than if I am 19 in 10 years. I won the US Open a few months ago, and I was super happy in that moment. But today I'm happier than if I didn't win the US Open? Probably not. That's the only thing that matters in this life.

"Of course, I want to do it the best way possible because that's what I am doing since the beginning of my life almost. But the only thing I can do is put all my efforts in trying to keep going the best way possible. The rest of the things, the future will see."

Rafael Nadal outclassed Hugo Dellien in a straight-sets win in the Australian Open first round on Tuesday.

The world number one proved too good for Dellien on a sunny Rod Laver Arena, winning 6-2 6-3 6-0 in two hours, two minutes.

Nadal's bid to join Roger Federer on 20 grand slam titles started with a comfortable victory, although he was forced to grind early.

In the end, the Spaniard's relentless consistency was too much for Bolivian world number 73 Dellien, with either Federico Delbonis or Joao Sousa awaiting Nadal in the second round.

Dellien tried to match it with Nadal from the baseline during a lengthy first set, but he made too many mistakes – 20 unforced errors – to seriously threaten.

A forehand winner gave Nadal a break and 2-0 lead and he took the opening five games before Dellien got on the board, but the Spaniard closed out a 52-minute first set.

Dellien stayed with Nadal until the sixth game of the second set, but the pair traded breaks before the latter struck again to take complete control of the encounter.

Nadal broke Dellien's resistance – and serve – to begin the third set on his way to a commanding victory.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Rafael Nadal [1] bt Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-3 6-0

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal – 38/21
Dellien – 15/34

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal – 5/5
Dellien – 0/2

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal – 8/18
Dellien – 2/5

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Nadal – 62
Dellien – 72

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Nadal – 70/59
Dellien – 50/32

TOTAL POINTS
Nadal – 96
Dellien – 64

Novak Djokovic heads into the Australian Open second round on the back of dropping a rare set in his first outing in Melbourne.

The Serbian star, a record seven-time champion of the event, needed four sets to get through his opener.

Still, Djokovic remains on track ahead of facing wildcard Tatsuma Ito in the second round on Wednesday.

We take a closer look at the 16-time grand slam champion's form heading into the clash.

Form and results

Even Djokovic managed a first in his opening-round win. The 32-year-old dropped a set and won in the Australian Open first round for the first time in his career by getting past Jan-Lennard Struff in four. The last time he had dropped a set in his opener in Melbourne was in 2006, when he was beaten by Paul Goldstein. Djokovic may be better off for the test, having gone 6-0 in singles at the ATP Cup to begin his 2020.

R1: bt Struff 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 2-6 6-1

Next up

Due to rain, Ito's opener was pushed back to Tuesday, but the 31-year-old from Japan needed little time to brush past lucky loser Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-4 6-2 7-5. Ito is the world number 146, but did manage a best ranking of 60 in 2012. However, he has played mostly on the Challenger Tour since 2013 and has never met Djokovic, who will be favoured to ease through.

Draw

If Djokovic gets past Ito as expected, he will face 30th seed Dan Evans or Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka in the third round. Diego Schwartzman (14th seed) and Dusan Lajovic (24th) are potential fourth-round opponents.

What he said

"It’s great to be back in this arena that has a very special place in my heart. This has been by far the most successful court in my career, I love coming back to Australia, the land of tennis. I want to thank everyone for staying until midnight and supporting both players."

Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic savoured his win over Jan-Lennard Struff, highlighting his grand slam success after difficult first-round matches.   

Djokovic - eyeing a record-extending eighth Australian Open title - kicked off his title defence with a hard-fought 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 2-6 6-1 victory against tenacious German Struff in Melbourne on Monday.

The 16-time slam champion looked set to close out a straight-sets win after surviving a tense first set, in which he committed 12 unforced errors, before Struff rallied to force a fourth on Rod Laver Arena.

Djokovic, though, was not to be denied a 900th ATP career victory and the Serb star told reporters: "I actually like tough first rounds in grand slams particularly.

"Historically I had lots of success in grand slams where I had tough opponents in the first round. Because it gets me going. 

"From the beginning I have to be alert, I have to be on a high level. I think I was."

Djokovic, who will face either Japanese wildcard Tatsuma Ito or lucky loser Prajnesh Gunneswaran in the second round, added: "Overall it was a really solid start, especially in the second and the fourth set I played on a higher level. [I] served pretty good, lots of aces, high percentage of first serves in.

"I felt kind of in control of the match. Even when I lost the third set I just felt like 'if I am on the right level, I have the upper hand'. I ended this match in a good fashion, in a right way and this is very positive."

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