Aus Open: Djokovic, Federer ease through to second round

Defending champion Djokovic, who won the first of his 10 majors at Melbourne Park in 2008, broke open the match with a run of six consecutive games from late in the first set before going on to close out the match.

Novak Djokovic waves to the crowd after winning against Hyeon Chung.   -  Reuters

Roger Federer celebrates after winning against Nikoloz Basilashvili.   -  Reuters

World number one singles player Novak Djokovic advanced to the second round of the Australian Open 2016 after winning over Chung Hyeon 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 here on Monday. The Serbian, who has won the Australian Open five times, beat the 19-year-old South Korean in the first round in an hour and 55 minutes.

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The defending champion, who won the first of his 10 majors at Melbourne Park in 2008, broke open the match with a run of six consecutive games from late in the first set before going on to close out the match.

“Having to play somebody for the first time, especially somebody that is as young as him, he’s only 19, it can be tricky,” said Djokovic after the win. “Obviously getting out on the court and playing against a player that has nothing to lose. He moves very well, as well. He can play equally well from defence to offence. And he’s one of the players that people are talking about as a potential top player in the future. He’s got that potential, no question about it. He needs experience, he needs more time.”

Ruthless Federer surges to second round

World number three, Roger Federer, was in ruthless form as he surged through to the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili. The 17-time Grand Slam winner hammered 31 winners to just nine from his opponent and converted eight of his 14 break points to claim the match in just 72 minutes.

“That was a good match,” said Federer after the win at the Rod Laver Arena. “I’m really pleased how I was able to play. Definitely gives me a bit of a lift in confidence because this year I haven’t been able to play properly yet. This was a match where I was able to focus on my game, on tactics, all that stuff. So it was nice to play that way.”

Nishikori to face Tomic in Brisbane

Second seed Kei Nishikori maintained his perfect record against Mikhail Kukushkin by sealing a straight-sets victory to move into the quarter-finals of the Brisbane International on Wednesday. The world number eight from Japan had won his three previous encounters with Kukushkin and recovered from an uncertain start to prevail 6-3, 6-4.

Nishikori was broken in the first game of the match at Pat Rafter Arena, but that proved to be a false dawn for Kukushkin as he was beaten in an hour and 29 minutes. The 2014 U.S. Open runner-up Nishikori recovered from 2-0 down in the opener to secure two decisive breaks in the first set and needed just the one in the opening game of the second to stand on the brink of a fourth successive semi-final appearance in Brisbane. 

Nishikori will now face home favourite Bernard Tomic, who saw off 2009 champion Radek Stepanek 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 7-6 (7-4) in a gripping contest. Tomic battled back from 4-1 down to take the first set, then held his nerve to win a second tie-break after being taken to a decider.