Australian Open Day 1: Returning Federer passes opening test

Melbourne [Australia], Jan. 17 : Seventeen-time grand slam champion Roger Federer began his Australian Open campaign with a comfortable win over Austria's Jurgen Melzer on Monday.

Federer defeated Melzer 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 in a match that lasted for more than two hours on Rod Laver Arena.

The 17th seed will now play American qualifier Noah Rubin in the second round. The 35-year-old Swiss legend, who has been out of the game for more than six months, is bidding to become the second oldest man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after Ken Rosewall of Australia.

World number one Andy Murray also produced a rich vein of form as he kicked off his Australian Open campaign with a straight-sets victory over Ukrainian opponent Illya Marchenko.

The 29-year-old stormed into the second round after registering a solid 7-5, 7-6(5), 6-2 win over Marchenko in a thrilling clash that lasted two hours and 47 minutes.

Meanwhile, fifth-seed Kei Nishikori of Japan also made a winning start to the first major of the season after battling past Russia's Andrey Kuznetsov 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 6-2 in the opening round of the men's singles event.

In women's singles event, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams defeated Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine 7-6 (7/5), 7-5 to advance through to the next round.

In other match, defending champion of Angelique Kerber of Germany survived a scare against Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko to progress to the next round.

The world number one, who was starting the defense of a Grand Slam title for the first time, initially struggled with her serve and the accuracy of her ground strokes before registering a 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 win over Tsurenko in a thrilling opening-round contest.

Kerber, who is bidding to be the first woman to defend her Australian title since Victoria Azarenka in 2013, stunned American tennis star and former world number one Serena Williams in the final last year to clinch her maiden title at Melbourne Park.

Source: ANI