Australian Open

Djokovic begins Australian Open title bid with easy win

2019-01-15 12:46
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic (AP)

Melbourne - Novak Djokovic began his bid for a record seventh Australian Open title in emphatic fashion Tuesday, crushing 230th-ranked American Mitchell Krueger to set up a showdown with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. 

The world number one had reached the Australian Open second round for 13 consecutive years and that streak was never threatened by the qualifier, who caved in 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena. 

Djokovic, appearing in his 300th Grand Slam match, did drop his second service game to go 1-2 behind in the first set but broke back immediately and went on to record his 259th match win in a major against a gritty but outclassed opponent. 

"Playing him for the first time I didn't know what to expect," said the Serbian top seed. "He was very competitive and I had to work hard." 

Djokovic closed out last season magnificently, making an astonishing climb back from outside the world's top 20 in June, winning Wimbledon and the US Open on the way to reclaiming the number one ranking in November. 

It was a stark contrast to the way he exited Melbourne a year ago at the hands of South Korea's Chung Hyeon in the last 16. 

He then struggled as elbow surgery was followed by a string of poor results. 

"It feels great to be healthy and back on this court again," Djokovic told reporters. "Twelve months ago it was quite a different sensation on the court with the elbow injury. Twelve months forward, obviously things are quite different. 

"I had a tremendous success in the last six months. It got me to a great position. Hopefully I can follow up on this victory tonight with a good performance." 

Djokovic will take a trip down memory lane next when he plays old foe Tsonga in the second round. 

Frenchman Tsonga was on the losing side in the 2008 Australian Open final as Djokovic won his first of 14 Grand Slams. 

"It's funny, I mean, 11 years after our first Grand Slam final here, it feels like a lot has happened for both of us," said Djokovic. 

Former world number four Tsonga missed seven months of 2018 after knee surgery and needed a wildcard to get into the tournament after his ranking dropped outside the top 200. 

"He also struggled with injuries lately. It's good to see him playing well," said Djokovic. 

The unseeded 33-year-old, who has also reached five Grand Slam semi-finals in his career, will be a dangerous opponent, having enjoyed a run to the last four in his comeback tournament at Brisbane. 

"Just very powerful, serve, forehand, big weapons," acknowledged Djokovic. 

"I know what to expect. I've played him many times. I lost to him, as well. In this court, as well, in Rod Laver I think back in 2010. 

"I'm going to approach it as any other match, to be honest. Really optimistic, but also respectful, trying to do whatever I can to win it." 

The superstar Serb is right to be cautious. Tsonga is one of only three players to have recorded wins against Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal while they were ranked number one. The other two are Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro.

Collated results from Day 2 of the Australian Open on Tuesday:


Round 1

Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt Mitchell Krueger (USA) 6-3, 6-2, 6-2

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) bt Martin Klizan (SVK) 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)

Taro Daniel (JPN) bt Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 5-7, 4-2 retired

Denis Shapovalov (CAN x25) bt Pablo Andujar (ESP) 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3)

David Goffin (BEL x21) bt Christian Garin (CHI) 6-0, 6-2, 6-2

Marius Copil (ROU) bt Marcel Granollers (ESP) 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

Ryan Harrison (USA) bt Jiri Vesely (CZE) 6-0, 7-5, 6-3

Daniil Medvedev (RUS x15) bt Lloyd Harris (RSA) 6-1, 6-2, 6-1

Fabio Fognini (ITA x12) bt Jaume Munar (ESP) 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (9/7), 3-1 retired

Leonardo Mayer (ARG) bt Nicolas Jarry (CHI) 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 6-3

Ilya Ivashka (BLR) bt Malek Jaziri (TUN) 4-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-1, 4-0 retired

Pablo Carreno-Busta (ESP x23) bt Luca Vanni (ITA) 6-7 (5/7), 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4

Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER x32) bt Li Zhe (CHN) 6-2, 6-2, 6-4

Joao Sousa (POR) bt Guido Pella (ARG) 7-6 (7/2), 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-2

Ivo Karlovic (CRO) bt Hubert Hurkacz (POL) 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/5)

Kei Nishikori (JPN x8) bt Kamil Majchrzak (POL) 3-6, 6-7 (6/8), 6-0, 6-2, 3-0 retired

Alexander Zverev (GER x4) bt Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 6-4, 6-1, 6-4

Jeremy Chardy (FRA) bt Ugo Humbert (FRA) 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (10/6)

Alex Bolt (AUS) bt Jack Sock (USA) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2

Gilles Simon (FRA x29) bt Bjorn Fratangelo (USA) 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, 6-2

Chung Hyeon (KOR x24) bt Bradley Klahn (USA) 6-7 (5/7), 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-2, 6-4

Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) bt Sam Querrey (USA) 5-7, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3, 6-1

Stan Wawrinka (SUI) bt Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 3-6, 3-1 retired

Milos Raonic (CAN x16) bt Nick Kyrgios (AUS) 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4

Borna Coric (CRO x11) bt Steve Darcis (BEL) 6-1, 6-4, 6-4

Marton Fucsovics (HUN) bt Albert Ramos (ESP) 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3

Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) bt Laslo Djere (SRB) 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (7/5)

Filip Krajinovic (SRB) bt Marco Cecchinato (ITA x17) 4-6, 0-6, 6-1, 7-6 (10/8), 6-4

Lucas Pouille (FRA x28) bt Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 6-1, 7-5, 6-4

Maximilian Marterer (GER) bt Gleb Sakharov (FRA) 6-3, 6-1, 6-3

Alexei Popyrin (AUS) bt Mischa Zverev (GER) 7-5, 7-6 (9/7), 6-4

Dominic Thiem (AUT x7) bt Benoit Paire (FRA) 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 1-6, 6-3


Round 1

Sofia Kenin (USA) bt Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) 6-3, 3-6, 7-5

Alize Cornet (FRA) bt Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) 6-2, 6-2

Venus Williams (USA) bt Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU x25) 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/3), 6-2

Carla Suarez (ESP x23) bt Clara Burel (FRA) 7-5, 6-2

Dayana Yastremska (UKR) bt Samantha Stosur (AUS) 7-5, 6-2

Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) bt Peng Shuai (CHN) 6-2, 6-1

Serena Williams (USA x16) bt Tatjana Maria (GER) 6-0, 6-2

Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) bt Darya Kasatkina (RUS x10) 6-3, 6-0

Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) bt Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 6-7 (2/7), 6-2, 6-4

Johanna Konta (GBR) bt Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 7-6 (7/4), 2-6, 7-6 (10/7)

Garbine Muguruza (ESP x18) bt Zheng Saisai (CHN) 6-2, 6-3

Camila Giorgi (ITA x27) bt Dalila Jakupovic (SLO) 6-3, 6-0

Iga Swiatek (POL) bt Ana Bogdan (ROU) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4

Madison Brengle (USA) bt Misaki Doi (JPN) 6-4, 6-0

Karolina Pliskova (CZE x7) bt Karolina Muchova (CZE) 6-3, 6-2

Tamara Zidansek (SLO) bt Daria Gavrilova (AUS) 7-5, 6-3

Laura Siegemund (GER) bt Victoria Azarenka (BLR) 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-2

Hsieh Su-wei (TPE x28) bt Stefanie Vogele (SUI) 6-2, 6-1

Wang Qiang (CHN x21) bt Fiona Ferro (FRA) 6-4, 6-3

Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) bt Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 3-6, 7-5, 6-1

Bianca Andreescu (CAN) bt Whitney Osuigwe (USA) 7-6 (7/1), 6-7 (0/7), 6-3

Anastasija Sevastova (LAT x13) bt Mona Barthel (GER) 6-3, 6-1

Elise Mertens (BEL x12) bt Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) 6-2, 7-5

Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) bt Lin Zhu (CHN) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2

Anastasia Potapova (RUS) bt Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)

Madison Keys (USA x17) bt Destanee Aiava (AUS) 6-2, 6-2

Zhang Shuai (CHN) bt Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x26) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2

Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) bt Anna Blinkova (RUS) 7-6 (7/2), 2-6, 6-2

Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK) bt Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2

Elina Svitolina (UKR x6) bt Viktorija Golubic (SUI) 6-1, 6-2

Simona Halep (ROU x1) bt Kaia Kanepi (EST) 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 6-2

Naomi Osaka (JPN x4) bt Magda Linette (POL) 6-4, 6-2

Read more on:    wta tour  |  australian open  |  novak djokovic  |  tennis


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