Melbourne - Tomas Berdych overpowered India's Yuki Bhambri as he kicked off his 50th consecutive Grand Slam with a straight-sets demolition at the Australian Open on Monday.
The Czech iron man, who upset Rafael Nadal on the way to last year's semi-finals, romped away with the match 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 in 1hr 45min as Bhambri's game deteriorated in fierce heat.
Sixth seed Berdych only dropped his service once in the opening set as he dismantled Bhambri's serve with six service breaks.
"It wasn't an easy one. I had my chance with an early break but then I lost my serve and it was a bit of a battle at the end of the first set," Berdych said.
"It was a very good test for the first day, first match with the usual (hot) weather here, so it's good to get this match in these conditions and be prepared."
It was only the 95th-ranked Bhambri's second Grand Slam appearance and first direct entry into the main draw.
Berdych, who is in the same quarter of the draw as Roger Federer, hammered 35 winners, including 13 aces, and will next face Bosnia's Mirza Basic.