By Michael Pavitt

Fifth seed Ana Ivanovic bowed out ©AFP/Getty ImagesThere were several shocks on day one at the Australian Open in Melbourne, with fifth-seed Ana Ivanovic the biggest name to fall.

The Serb, who had enjoyed a strong 2014 season, was beaten in three sets by Czech Republic qualifier Lucie Hradecka, surprising not only for the difference in their world rankings but also due to Ivanovic cruising through the first set 6-1.

A smooth passage into the second round appeared to be on the cards, but a series of double faults and unforced errors by Ivanovic allowed the Czech to fight back 6-3 in the second set to tie the match, before winning the final set 6-2.

Ivanovic was followed out of the competition by seven other seeds, including Germany's Angelique Kerber and 2013 Wimbledon runner up Sabine Lisicki, along with Spaniard Carla Suárez Navarro

However, there was better news for Maria Sharapova as the second seed breezed past Petra Martic 6-4, 6-1, while Simona Halep and up and coming Canadian Eugenie Bouchard came through their first round matches with straight sets victories.

Top seed Serena Williams is in action tomorrow against Belgium's Alison Van Uytvanck.

Meanwhile, Australia saw two of their own through to the second round with nerve-jangling five set victories, as Rafael Nadal's conqueror at last years' Wimbledon Nick Kyrgios won a topsy-turvy clash with Argentina's Federico Del Bonis, overcoming injury to win the final set 6-3.

However, the big news in the men's draw was 18-year-old home hope Thanasi Kokkinakis' win over Ernest Gulbis, the first five set match of the youngster's career, as he defeated the Latvian in a four hour epic.

Maria Sharapova had no trouble in progressing to the second round ©AFP/Getty ImagesMaria Sharapova had no trouble in progressing to the second round ©AFP/Getty Images

The world number 147 fell behind in the match losing the first set 5-7, before roaring back to win the second 6-0 against the French Open semi-finalist, but the tables turned once again as Gulbis bounced back to win the third set 6-1.

Kokkinakis kept the encounter alive as he fought back to tie the match once again, winning a fourth set tie-breaker, before completing the fight back by taking final set 8-6 to dump out Gulbis.

"I beat a guy that made the semis of the French," Kokkinakis said, after his win.

"He probably wasn't in his best form tonight.

"You can only control what you can control, so just tried to make things uncomfortable for him."

Rafael Nadal won on his return ©AFP/Getty ImagesRafael Nadal won on his return ©AFP/Getty Images

Kokkinakis' will now face fellow Australian James Duckworth in the second round, as the first round saw a number of home favourites progress.

Home hopes will now turn to veteran Leyton Hewitt who plays tomorrow, while the rest of today's fixtures saw the majority of top seeds come through unscathed, with second and third seeds Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal claiming straight sets victories.

Great Britain's Andy Murray and Grigor Dmitrov of Bulgaria were also among those progressing in straight sets, as focus now shifts to the arrival of world number one Novak Djokovic and defending champion Stan Warwrinka, who both begin proceedings tomorrow.

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