January 13 - Novak Djokovic began his Australian Open title defence today with victory over Slovakia's Lukas Lacko, a 25th straight victory for the Serbian and the first in front of new coach Boris Becker.
The number two seed took just under two hours to break down the 96th-ranked Slovakian winning the match in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6, 6-1, to book his place in the second round against Argentine Leonardo Mayer and move s step closer to his fifth Australian Open title.
"I know that I haven't played my best, especially in the second set," said Djokovic.
"But credit to my opponent who was playing really nice tennis from the baseline.
"On the other hand I was a little bit too passive in some stages of the match and was trying to find the proper, I would say, setting and proper balance and footing in the court."
In the women's event, American world number one Serena Williams took just 57 minutes to overcome local 17-year-old Ashleigh Barty, losing just three games to thrash the young Aussie 6-2, 6-1.
Jarmila Gajdosova's first round woes continued in Australia as the local player suffered her ninth straight first round exit at the Open.
The Australian was beaten in three sets by ninth-seed German Angelique Kerber to mark a disappointing return to the game after six months out.
The British duo of Heather Watson and Laura Robson both suffered first rounds defeats, leaving the weight of that country's hopes on the shoulders of a certain Andy Murray.
Robson's competition was ended after just 50 minutes when Belgium's 18th-seed Kirsten Flipkens thrashed her 6-3, 6-0 in the youngsters first full match of the season.
Watson, in contrast, kept 31st-seed Daniela Hantuchova occupied for two hours and 34 minutes before going down 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 to the Slovakian.
One of the most highly anticipated matches of the day saw Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm's take on Switzerland's Belinda Bencic.
The 16-year-old Bencic was not even born when tour veteran Date-Krumm, now 43, reached her career-high ranking of four in 1995, however the 26 years and five months gap counted for nothing on court six as the young Swiss player battled through to win 2-1.
A total of 21 errors in the final set cost Venus Williams a place in the second round as the American had a one set lead over-turned by Russia's Ekaterina Makarova.
Australian fans were given something to cheer about when Casey Dellacqua breezed past former number-two Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-2.
The Australian Open marked just the second tournament in 18 months for the Russian following surgery on her shoulder.
In a day that was mostly safe for the seeds a few surprises did crop up here and there including defeat for Czech sixth-seed Petra Kvitova, who lost in three sets to 88th-ranked Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand.
Comfortable wins for David Ferrer, Sam Stosur, Li Na, Ana Ivanovic, Tomas Berdych, Richard Gasquet and Sabine Lisicki did pull the competition back to normality however with each seed easily progressing to the next round.
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December 2013: Djokovic named ITF world champion for 2013 ahead of number one Nadal
November 2013: Djokovic beats Nadal to retain ATP World Tour Finals title
September 2013: Seventeen Grand Slams and counting for superb Serena Williams
May 2013: Williams completes Roland Garros preparations with Italian Open victory
January 2013: Djokovic reigns again in Melbourne