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Australian Open: Djokovic and Nadal power into the Second Round

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Serbian tennis ace Novak Djokovic began his quest for a record seventh Australian Open title with a hard earned win against Spaniard Fernando Verdasco while Rafael Nadal began with a convincing victory over German Florian Mayer at Melbourne Park 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, with the second set alone taking over an hour. Djokovic raced to a 5-0 lead in the match and quickly closed out the opening set.

 

The second set began with repeated breaks of serve before making its way into a tiebreak. Djokovic opened up a 3-0 lead in the breaker before Verdasco stormed back to take a 4-3 lead with a mini break of his own, but Djokovic upped the ante and wrapped up the breaker 7-4.

Ninth-seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal defeated Mayer, 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 at the hands of 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 America's Ernesto Escobedo, who beat Russian Danill Medveded.

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 Agut 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 Agut 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.