She certainly didn't show it, winning her first set in 21 minutes on Tuesday night on the way to a 6-0, 6-4 win over Alison Van Uytvanck at the
The 18-time major winner has only once lost in the opening round at a Grand Slam tournament, and this is her 58th. One more Grand Slam title and she'll pass Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova on the all-time list of champions.
“If I could get to 19 in Australia that would be amazing,” said the top-ranked
Four-time Australian Open champion
Djokovic won the first of his seven major titles at the 2008 Australian Open, then won here in three consecutive years from 2011 to 2013. His 25-match winning streak at Melbourne Park ended in a quarterfinal loss last year to Stan Wawrinka, who went on to win the title.
Wawrinka began the defense of a major crown for the first time with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over No. 100-ranked
"It's great, bringing me a lot of memories from last year," Wawrinka said of his return. "It was great to come back here feeling happy, happy with my game."
Top-ranked Djokovic had the subsequent match on center court and appeared to be tired and still recovering from illness after his match, saying he'd had a "rough two weeks health-wise but I'm getting up there."
His mood changed suddenly when a court-side interview turned to reflections of 2014, when he won
"Well those two events are the two most beautiful events I experienced in my life," he said. "Stefan, he's a blessing we received … now I have even more motivation."
Two other men widely considered to be in the next generation of major winners advanced in straight sets, with
In night matches, 33-year-old Lleyton Hewitt started his 19th consecutive Australian Open by beating Zhang Ze 6-3, 1-6, 6-0, 6-4, Vasek Pospisil beat
The thought of his parents watching on TV helped with the inspiration.
"I was thinking about my parents, looking at me overseas. I promised them I'd be good this year," he said. "I'm very emotional — we've been through a lot. It was tough for me today, but we came through."
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and No. 6