Djokovic, Williams press report bids at Australian Open  |  Photo Credit score: AP, File Picture
Defending champion Novak Djokovic meets Japanese wildcard Tatsuma Ito on the Australian Open on Wednesday as he seeks to ramp up his spectacular begin to the season. The second seed, chasing a record-extending eighth Australian Open title, is unbeaten up to now this 12 months after main Serbia to victory on the inaugural ATP Cup.
Djokovic swept apart Jan-Lennard Struff within the first spherical in Melbourne and is unlikely to concern his first profession assembly with Ito, the world quantity 146. The 16-time Grand Slam winner dropped the third set towards Struff however he completed strongly and wielded a rapier serve, hitting 14 aces with a 65 p.c first-serve proportion.
“I ended this match in vogue, in the precise method and that is very constructive,” Djokovic stated, warning that it was simply the beginning he needed. “Traditionally I had lots of success within the Grand Slams the place I had a troublesome opponent within the first spherical as a result of it will get me going from the start,” stated the Serb.
“I’ve to be alert, I’ve to be on a excessive stage and I believe I used to be. In fact, you possibly can all the time play higher and I count on myself to be higher because the event progresses.” Serena Williams can even look to construct on a robust begin when she performs Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek, with Margaret Court docket’s report of 24 Grand Slam titles in her sights.
Like Djokovic, the 38-year-old American is unbeaten this 12 months after breaking a three-year trophy drought in Auckland. She dropped solely three video games towards Anastasia Potapova within the opening spherical in Melbourne.
Breakout star Coco Gauff, recent from beating Williams’s sister Venus in spherical one, performs Sorana Cirstea, and defending champion Naomi Osaka is up towards China’s Zheng Saisai. Roger Federer faces Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic and Caroline Wozniacki, taking part in her final event earlier than retiring, comes up towards extremely rated Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska, 19.
The locals can be in full voice for Australia’s ladies’s world primary Ashleigh Barty, who can be sizzling favorite towards Slovenia’s unseeded Polona Hercog.