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Australian Open: Victorious returns for Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka

Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka both registered comfortable victories in their respective Australian Open first round matches on Tuesday.

tennis Updated: Jan 16, 2018 12:36 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse, Melbourne
Australian Open,Novak Djokovic,Stan Wawrinka
Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts after a point against Donald Young during their Australian Open encounter.(AFP)

Six-times champion Novak Djokovic looked the part as he powered to a convincing first round victory at the Australian Open on Tuesday on his return from an elbow injury.

The 12-times Grand Slam champion, seeded an unfamiliar 14, was too strong for American Donald Young, winning 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in 1hr 51min on Margaret Court Arena.

READ | Australian Open: Alexander Zverev, Johanna Konta register easy wins in first round

The Serbian former world number one has been out of action for six months.

But he looked in good shape as he worked his way into the second round where he will play either France’s Gael Monfils or Spanish qualifier Jaume Munar.

Djokovic, wearing a flesh-coloured protective guard on his right serving elbow, saluted the cheering crowd as he won on his sixth match point.

READ | Maria Sharapova enjoys winning return to Australian Open, Milos Raonic crashes out

It was an impressive performance, with the Serb breaking Young’s left-handed serve six times, hitting 33 winners and conceding only 27 unforced errors.

“There is no better place to start than here in Australia, I love coming here, I love playing here,” Djokovic told the crowd.

“It’s been a long period without any official matches but I spent as much quality time as I could with my family.

“I wanted to start with the right intensity, which I have, I played perfect tennis in the first couple of sets and Donald came back in the third set.”

Victorious return for Wawrinka

Former champion Stan Wawrinka was taken to four sets before winning his first match since knee surgery in July at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

The three-time Grand Slam winner downed Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7/2) on Hisense Arena.

Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland signs autographs after his win against Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania. (REUTERS)

It was a confidence booster for the 2014 Melbourne Park champion who had a troubled lead-in to the year’s opening Grand Slam, pulling out of an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi.

The Swiss star, who defeated Rafael Nadal to win in 2014, has slipped to nine in the world rankings, having not played since his first-round Wimbledon loss to Russian Daniil Medvedev six months ago.

“It was a tough battle and I’m really happy to win my first match here after six months out,” Wawrinka said.

First Published: Jan 16, 2018 12:36 IST