Serena swats doubts, Bencic aside to reach second round

World number one Angelique Kerber has not started 2017 the way she should have wanted to.

"February I'll start looking at the bigger picture of my life", she said.

"I love being here".

As far as opening rounds at a Grand Slam go, Williams and Bencic have the potential to put on quite the show, with Bencic having defeated Williams on the WTA tour for their head-to-head record to stand at one win apiece. HEATHER WATSON, British tennis player, on defeating home favourite Sam Stosur 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 in 36degC heat at Melbourne Park.

This will be the second match scheduled in the Rod Laver Arena, following the conclusion of the first round match between Venus Williams and Stefanie Voegele.

Williams equalled Steffi Graf's Open era record of 22 grand slam titles previous year when she clinched her seventh Wimbledon crown and sits just two away from the all-time record held by Australia's Margaret Court.

No. 17 Roger Federer vs.

"I'm very pleased with the first round, considering I had one of the toughest first-round draws, definitely considering his form", Djokovic said. "He could play anywhere on the court and he hit me".

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All three Kiwi men's doubles pairings are scheduled to play on Wednesday.

Djokovic responded with an ominous win over Murray in a thrilling season-opening final in Doha before declaring his intentions to land an unprecedented seventh men's Australian Open crown. In the second set, she pulled out to a 5-0 lead but Bencic staged a comeback, breaking Williams' serve the first time she served for the match. I mean, she's a really good player. "You never know (if) I lost the match, what would have happened".

In other early matches, No. 11 Elina Svitolina had a 6-4, 6-1 win over US qualifier Julia Boserup and No. 24 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat fellow Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva 6-2, 6-2.

Four-time former champion Roger Federer plays 20-year-old American Noah Rubin who came through qualifying to make the main draw, beating Bjorn Fratageno in five sets on Monday. Hampered by a wrist injury for much of 2016, it's a move that highlights the 30-year-old's determined approach to 2017.

"If I am here (it) is because I believe", he added.

The defending champion began her title defence against Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko. Recently peaking at world No.5, the 2014 finalist should progress without fuss against world No.90 Denisa Allertova.

The top seeded German was starting the defence of a grand slam title for the first time and made harder and longer work than she might have of advancing to a meeting with compatriot Carina Witthoeft.

Leading the way are Artem Sitak and American Nicholas Monroe, who play first up on court 22 at 11am (1pm NZ time) against James Cerretani (USA) and Philipp Oswald (Austria) in their first round match. It was a fine win from Konta, who will next take on Japan's Naomi Osaka at Melbourne Park.


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