Australian Open: Novak Djokovic defeats Fernando Verdasco, through to 2nd round | tennis | Hindustan Times
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Australian Open: Novak Djokovic defeats Fernando Verdasco, through to 2nd round

tennis Updated: Jan 17, 2017 16:55 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Melbourne
Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic beat Fernando Verdasco 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-2 in the first round to set up a clash against Ivan Dodig or Denis Istomin at the Australian Open.(AFP)

Novak Djokovic launched his bid for a record seventh Australian Open title on Tuesday with an impressive 6-1, 7-6(4), 6-2 win over hard-hitting Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in Melbourne on Tuesday.

The defending champion played brilliantly at a floodlit Rod Laver Arena to frustrate the Spaniard who knocked Rafael Nadal out in the first round last year.

READ | Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal start Australian Open with a bang on Day 2

Novak Djokovic was forced to save five match points to beat Verdasco at the recent Qatar Open and was broken twice during a thrilling second set on the Melbourne Park centre court.

But the Serb raised his game as the 33-year-old flagged in the third to set up a second round match against either Ivan Dodig or Denis Istomin.