Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Three-time reigning and four-time overall champion Novak Djokovic and third-seeded David Ferrer were among the men posting first-round victories on Day 1 at the Australian Open.
The second-seeded former world No. 1 Djokovic won his 22nd straight match at Melbourne Park by handling Slovak Lukas Lacko 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1. Djokovic popped 10 aces in the 1-hour, 50-minute affair.
Djokovic played his first match in front of new coach Boris Becker.
"It is the first competitive match I've had this season, I haven't played for five or six weeks," Djokovic said. "I was a bit rusty on the court the first two sets. Afterwards it was all working well."
Djokovic beat Andy Murray in last year's final to nail down a third straight championship at the first Grand Slam event of the year. The super Serb's second-round opponent on Wednesday will be Argentine Leonardo Mayer.
Meanwhile, the 2013 French Open runner-up Ferrer, former Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych, and eighth-seeded Swiss slugger Stanislas Wawrinka also moved into the second round.
Ferrer breezed past Grand Slam debutant, Colombian Alejandro Gonzalez, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena, while the seventh-seeded Berdych posted a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win over Kazakhstan's Aleksandr Nedovyesov, and recent Chennai champion Wawrinka won the opening set 6-4 and was leading 4-1 in the second when Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev retired. The rising Wawrinka will face Colombian Alejandro Falla on Wednesday.
The diminutive Ferrer lost to Djokovic in the semifinals at Melbourne Park a year ago. His second-round opponent this week will be Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.
Ninth-seeded French star Richard Gasquet bested countryman David Guez 7-5, 6-4, 6-1, while Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez took out oft-injured 12th- seeded German Tommy Haas 7-5, 5-2, retired.
In other action involving Top-16 seeds, No. 14 Russian Mikhail Youzhny mauled German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 and No. 15 Italian Fabio Fognini eased past Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6-3, 6-2, retired.
No. 17 seed Tommy Robredo outlasted Czech Lukas Rosol 6-1, 6-7 (7-9), 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 8-6, while 19th-seeded South African Kevin Anderson overcame Czech Jiri Vesely 2-6, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, and 20th-seeded Pole Jerzy Janowicz charged back to beat Aussie Jordan Thompson 1-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1.
In other seeded play, No. 23 Latvian Ernests Gulbis overcame Argentine Juan Monaco 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2; No. 28 Canadian Vasek Pospisil whipped Aussie Samuel Groth 6-4, 6-3, 6-4; No. 29 Frenchman Jeremy Chardy topped Dutchman Jesse Huta Galung 6-2, 6-4, 6-4; No. 30 Russian Dmitry Tursunov drubbed American Michael Russell 6-2, 6-2, 6-3; and No. 32 Ivan Dodig downed 6-foot-10 fellow Croat Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (10-8), 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).
Several other men reached the round of 64, including American Sam Querrey,Frenchman Julien Benneteau, former world No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen, Aussie Matthew Ebden, German Florian Mayer, and Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, who dismissed former Aussie Open runner-up Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. Querrey got past Colombian Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3).
The first round is scheduled to conclude Tuesday, with 32 more men's singles matches, including ones for world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, a fourth-seeded Murray, fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro, and Swiss icon Roger Federer.
Nadal will battle Aussie Bernard Tomic, while Murray will meet Japanese Go Soeda, last week's Sydney champion del Potro will take on American Rhyne Williams, and the sixth-seeded Federer will tangle with Aussie James Duckworth.
Nadal is the reigning U.S. and French Open champion and captured an Aussie title in 2009, while Murray is a three-time Aussie runner-up, and Federer owns four Aussie titles among his men's-record 17 major championships.
Also seeing action on Day 2 will be 10th-seeded former Aussie runner-up Jo- Wilfried Tsonga, 11th-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic, 13th-seeded towering American and last week's Auckland champion John Isner, and Aussie crowd favorite Lleyton Hewitt, who reached the final in Melbourne in 2005.