Novak Djokovic showed a few signs of rustiness after the off-season but still comfortably reached the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-3 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 victory over Lukas Lacko on Monday.
It was the first step on a path Djokovic hopes will take him to a fourth successive title at Melbourne Park and he wrapped up the victory with a thundering ace after 110 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.
Slovakian Lacko had the temerity to break Djokovic's serve in the first set but the Serbian broke straight back and once he had secured a tight second set in the tiebreak, a three-set victory never looked in doubt. The second seed, who was watched by his new co-coach Boris Becker, next faces Argentine Leonardo Mayer, who earlier beat Spain's Albert Montanes 6-1 6-3 6-1.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Amlan Chakraborty)