Melbourne - Serbian world number one Novak
Djokovic eased past Chung Hyeon in straight sets to kick off his quest for a
record-equalling sixth Australian Open title on Monday.
Djokovic beat the 19-year-old South Korean
6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in 1hr 55mins in blistering heat on Rod Laver Arena which left
him reaching for the ice vests and water.
Despite the high temperarures, the top seed
sent out a chilling warning to his rivals as he set out to equal Australian Roy
Emerson's record of six Australian Open crowns.
Djokovic looked in ominous touch for his
rivals, sending the 51st-ranked Chung scurrying around the court chasing after
his dazzling array of shots.
"It's an absolute pleasure to come
back to Rod Laver Arena, it's the most successful court in my career and there
have been many memorable moments in the matches I've played here,"
"Chung is only 19, he's tall and he
plays well from the back of the court and he has a big future."
The 28-year-old Serb is yet to drop a set
this year and his performance in the Qatar Open final was described as
"perfect" by his one of big rivals, Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic unfurled some of his famed
leg-split volleys in taking the opening set in 40 minutes.
Chung grabbed his only service break in the
opening set, but the Serb top seed powered through.
Djokovic was clinical at the net, winning
15 from 15 points and well as dominating first serve points at 89 percent.
Djokovic broke Chung's first two service
games on the way to taking the second set.
He grabbed another early break in the third
set to charge away with the match.
The Serbian world number one's bid for a
calendar-year Grand Slam fell just short during his brilliant 2015 season.
He wore down Andy Murray to win last year's
final at Melbourne Park, and won three Grand Slams among 11 tournament
victories in a stellar 2015 season, with a win-loss record of 82-6.
The 10-time Grand Slam champion is
projected to face Japan's seventh seed Kei Nishikori in the quarters and
Switzerland's 17-time major winner Roger Federer in the semi-finals.