Djokovic, Nadal cruise to Australian Open second round

Melbourne, Jan 17 (IANS) Serbian tennis ace Novak Djokovic began his quest for a record seventh Australian Open title with an easy win against Spaniard Fernando Verdasco while Rafael Nadal began with a convincing victory over German Florian Mayer here on Tuesday.

World No.2 Djokovic won 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-2 in two hours and 20 minutes to advance to the second round.

Ninth-seeded Spaniard Nadal defeated his No.49 rival 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and four minutes. Nadal, who won the Australian Open in 2009, erased any bad memories of his first round defeat last year against compatriot Fernando Verdasco.

Nadal will play the next round against Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, who defeated Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 3-0 after the Russian’s withdrawal due to respiratory problems.

Djokovic will play the second round against the winner of the match between Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin and Croatian Ivan Dodig.

Spain’s David Ferrer beat Australian Omar Jasika in the first round.

Ferrer, 21st seed, defeated World No.290, 6-3, 6-0, 6-2 in 86 minutes.

The Spaniard will next face the winner between Russian Danill Medveded and America’s Ernesto Escobedo.

Ferrer, a semi-finalist in 2011 and 2013, is celebrating his 15th appearance at the Australian Open this year.

Earlier on Tuesday, Spanish tennis player Roberto Bautista defeated Guido Pella of Argentina.

The 13th-seeded Spanish player won 6-3, 6-1, 6-1 in 84 minutes.

The Spaniard has reached the second round of this tournament twice and recently won the fifth title of his career in Chennai.

Bautista will now play in the second round against Japanese player Yoshihito Nishioka, who defeated Australian Alex Bolt 6-4, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4.

–IANS

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