Published: Fri, January 19, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Novak Djokovic Beats Gael Monfils In 'Brutal' Melbourne Heat

Novak Djokovic Beats Gael Monfils In 'Brutal' Melbourne Heat

Angelique Kerber celebrated her 30th birthday yesterday by setting up a mouth-watering clash between the only two former Australian Open champions left in the draw. "I was just hanging in there trying to make the most of opportunities", Djokovic said in his post match interview.

Novak Djokovic enjoyed a successful return to the court on Tuesday as he overcame Donald Young 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in the first round of the 2018 Australian Open.

She started the match in strong fashion, not offering her opponent any break points, and took both break point chances she had during an easy first set. If you look at the numbers, and I think all of you in here would agree if you were a man or woman, you want to go to a place that's willing to invest in women's tennis.

No. 13 Sam Querrey restored some order for the US men with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Feliciano Lopez, advancing to the second round. Sharapova won 6-1, 6-4; acing Maria for the win. Two other USA contenders, No. 8 Jack Sock and No. 16 John Isner, were among the first-round casualties on Monday.

Next up is in-form 2016 Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber, who beat Donna Vekic in two easy sets as she starts to rediscover her best again after a miserable previous year.

The first-round upsets included Venus Williams, U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens and CoCo Vandeweghe, a semifinalist here and at the U.S. Open past year.

The Polish 26th seed pulled it round to win 6-2, 5-7, 3-6 and set up a tie against the victor of the Garbine Muguruza, Hsieh Su-wei tie.

American woes continued with Madison Brengle sent packing by British ninth seed Johanna Konta. The U.S. women had four wins and 14 losses in round one.

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Wawrinka, who underwent knee surgery in the summer, had a more hard time against Berankis, who hit back after the Swiss had eased through the first two sets.

"The first set was really good", Zverev said. "You use it as a measuring stick".

Below is all you need to know to follow the Australian Open action on Wednesday.

Other seeded players advancing included Wimbledon champion Garbine Mugurza, No. 6 Karolina Pliskova, No. 8 Caroline Garcia, No. 16 Elena Vesnina, and No. 29 Lucie Safarova.

Sharapova will now face the victor of the match between 2016 champion Angelique Kerber (21) and Dona Vekic.

"There was a lot of firsts again for me, playing the first tournament, first Grand Slam, and just different feelings and what it would be routinely".

After returning in New York, Sharapova is confident she's prepared again for a major.

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