Novak Djokovic takes his first move towards getting into the history books on Monday and the two-time defending Australian Open champion is taking nothing for granted in his first round clash.
Novak Djokovic started his bid for a third consecutive Australian Open title with a 6-2, 6-4, 7-5 win on Monday over veteran Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu. Top-ranked Djokovic faced only three break points in the match, saving them all, and lifted his tempo when it counted most.
The world number one had few worries in disposing of the 60th-ranked Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu. In a dominant display, the 25-year-old Djokovic won 95 points to Mathieu’s 68 and made a total of 31 winners outnumbering his 15 unforced errors. Djokovic cleaned up 84% of his first service points and was a high 75% on his second serve points.
“Hello everybody it`s great to be back,” Djokovic told the crowd. “I have great memories, especially the last two years.”
Djokovic is targeting to become the first man to win three successive Australian Open titles in the open era. He said after his win that he felt fresh after after taking a week off following his appearance for Serbia in the Hopman Cup in Perth.
“I needed some time to recharge my batteries for what is coming up,” he said.
Djokovic needed a record 5hr 53min to overcome Rafael Nadal in last year’s five-set epic Australian Open final, but Nadal is not in Melbourne this time as he recovers from a virus.
Other seeds to progress include former Wimbledon champion Tomas Berdych, tenth seed Nicolas Almagro and one-time Australian Open semi-finalist Fernando Verdasco.