SABC News - Australian Open off to smooth start amid Tennis match-fixing allegatio:Monday 18 January 2016

Australian Open off to smooth start amid Tennis match-fixing allegatio

Monday 18 January 2016 21:18

SABC

Serena Williams had to overcome a spirited effort from Italy's Camila Giorgi.

Serena Williams had to overcome a spirited effort from Italy's Camila Giorgi.(REUTERS)

As the tennis fraternity comes to terms with the allegations of match-fixing, it was business as usual in the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, the Australian Open in Melbourne.

World No.: 3 Roger Federer joined defending champions Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic in the second round after comfortable victories on Day 1.

Crowd favourite at Melbourne Park and 17 times Grand Slam champion Federer, was simply clinical against Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili.

He needed just an hour and 12 minutes to dispatch his opponent in straight sets, dropping just five games on his way to a 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 victory.

Serbia's Djokovic also looked in sublime form, in his opening encounter against Korean teenager Hyeon Chung.

The world No.: 51 was just no match for the top seed, who dictated proceedings to notch up a comfortable 6-3 6-2 6-4 win.
Women's world No.: 1 and defending champion Serena Williams, playing her first competitive match in four months, had to overcome a spirited effort from Italy's Camila Giorgi.

The American pulled out of the Hopman Cup in Perth earlier this month with a knee injury but showed no sign of discomfort against the Italian for a 6-4 7-5 victory.

Fifth seed Maria Sharapova, champion in Melbourne in 2008, also progressed to the second round.

The Russian, who also hasn't played much competitive tennis in recent months,  breezed past Japan's Nao Hibino 6-1 6-3.
Denmark's Caroline Wozniaki became the highest seeded casualty on the first day.

The 16th seed cruised through the first set but was eventually outclassed by Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva -- 1-6 7-6 and 6-4.

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