Australian Open: New statistics predict winners, chokers and hardest workers

Ryan Harrison supports Novak Djokovic proposal after calls for more player cash

Roger Federer knows he faces a huge challenge to match last year's "fairy tale" after starting the first grand slam of 2018 with a dominant Australian Open victory over Aljaz Bedene.

This is going to be an interesting match, as Djokovic still doesn't have a lot of play under his belt, and Monfils has been a different Monfils over the last couple of years.

Novak Djokovic returning from injury and seeded 14 was playing his first match since Wimbledon last July as he strolled to victory against Donald Young of the U.S. 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.

Sharapova, back in the top 50 after a 15-month doping ban, demonstrated all the shot-making that made her a five-time major victor as she destroyed gritty Anastasija Sevastova 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) on Rod Laver Arena.

"Even though we're not feeling good, we can still find a way and eventually play good again, whereas others would struggle early on and it becomes more hard". I'm feeling the same like yesterday.

Again, I'm saying it was subjects that we never get a chance to talk about in such a large group.

"I'm anxious it won't be as good as last year, I'm a year older and guys are coming back".

Despite conceding her serve once in the first set, Kerber made the most of both break points she had to clinch the first set. His opponent from Italy, Thomas Fabbiano kept pace with him and was close to winning the second set which he lost by only two points in the tie break. The Frenchman, who won a title in Doha the first week of the season, may be the most risky second-round opponent that a seed could face at this point in the tournament.

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Djokovic also seemed intent on savoring what was no longer routine at the tournament where he has won a record-tying six singles titles, the most recent in 2016 when he was on his way to winning four straight Grand Slam titles.

Wawrinka, who has been off the court for the same time as Djokovic, started in convincing fashion but appeared to be flagging when he lost the third set and trailed 3-0 in the fourth against Berankis.

Garcia subdued Carina Witthoft 6-3, 7-5, while Pliskova had little trouble in dismantling Paraguayan Veronica Cepede6-4, 6-3.

"When she broke back I thought: 'Oh, it's going to be 3 sets again", said Sharapova, who added.

With only a few exhibition matches last week to test his form, Nadal had doubts he'd be ready to go in time for the first major of the year.

The Canadian is coming off an injury-filled season that saw his ranking drop to No. 24 from a career-high of No. 3 in 2016.

No. 20 Roberto Bautista Agut and No. 22 Milos Raonic, a former Wimbledon finalist, were beaten.

Aiava had the distinction of becoming the first player born in this century to play in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament when she competed here in 2017.

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