Roger Federer makes impressive start to Australian Open campaign; Novak Djokovic also wins
Roger Federer wins in straight sets; Novak Djokovic drops a rare set but does enough to come through in four
Last Updated: 20/01/20 2:29pm
Roger Federer took another step towards a record-extending 21st Grand Slam singles title with a routine straight-sets win over Steve Johnson at the Australian Open.
Federer had not played a competitive match since the ATP Finals and spoke ahead of the tournament about his concerns that he might be rusty.
There was little evidence of that as he breezed past American Steve Johnson under the Rod Laver Arena roof, winning 6-3 6-2 6-2.
The 38-year-old will face the winner of French qualifier Quentin Halys against Serbia's Filip Krajinovic in the next round.
"Anything I was doing I felt like I had the game under control," said Federer, who is 21-0 in first-round matches at Melbourne Park, where he has won six of his 20 major titles.
"That might not be the case in the next round, so I just think I have to be careful. Round-by-round, point-for-point mentality.
"I know other guys that are playing extremely well right now so I think it's just important to stay very calm about things right now."
Novak Djokovic started his quest for a record-extending eighth title in Melbourne by defeating Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 2-6 6-1.
Djokovic, who guided Serbia to the inaugural ATP Cup title, has been forced to adjust his preparation for Melbourne and his lack of energy showed at times, especially in the third set. It was the first time Djokovic has dropped a set in the first round since 2006.
But he recovered from that in impressive fashion to book his spot in the second round, where will meet either Japanese wildcard Tatsuma Ito or lucky loser Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India.
I thought I started off well, I was a break up in the first set, he came back. Second set I played really well then he turned it around. Credit to him for fighting, he's a very powerful player.
The 16-time Grand Slam champion is seeded second behind Rafael Nadal, who he demolished in the final last year, but goes in as the favourite to win yet another title at Melbourne Park.
"I actually like tough first rounds in Grand Slams particularly," said Djokovic.
"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."
Denis Shapovalov, seeded 13th, was knocked out 6-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 7-6 (7-3) by Hungary's Marton Fucsovics.
The 20-year-old Canadian berated the umpire and received a code violation during his ill-tempered match on Margaret Court Arena.
After throwing his racket following a break of serve, Shapovalov was given the code violation that triggered his outburst.
"I didn't break it [my racket]. If I break it, 100 per cent code me, Shapovalov yelled at umpire Renaud Lichtenstein.
"You're not doing your job. You're just finding reasons to code me."
Last year's semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas began his campaign in convincing fashion with a 6-0 6-2 6-3 victory over Italian Salvatore Caruso.
Tsitsipas had three match points on Caruso's serve at 5-2 but could not convert any of them. He finally secured victory on his own serve with an ace down the middle of the court after an hour and 45 minutes.
The 21-year-old will next play Philipp Kohlschreiber next after the German defeated Marcos Giron 7-5 6-1 6-2.
Unseeded American Sam Querrey knocked out 25th seed Borna Coric 6-3 6-4 6-4 and was joined in the second round by eighth seed Matteo Berrettini, who beat Australian wild card Andrew Harris 6-3 6-1 6-3 for his first win at the tournament.