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Djokovic hits back at Australian Open boycott suggestions

Djokovic hits back at Australian Open boycott suggestions

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Roger Federer picked up where he left off at the Australian Open on a day when Maria Sharapova and Novak Djokovic helped ensure there were all kinds of comebacks.

It will be a meeting of the only two former champions in the women's draw, with Sharapova lifting the trophy a decade ago while Kerber was the victor in 2016.

Last year, Djokovic fell in the Australian Open second round to wild card Denis Istomin in one of the upsets of the 2017 season.

"I had really tough matches against her".

"A month ago I didn't know if I was going to come to Australia or not because the elbow was still not prepared for this level of competition", Djokovic, playing his first match since Wimbledon past year, said in an on-court interview. I was absent for one month, maximum.

'It's been a long period without any matches for me. She's had success playing out here in these conditions on these courts. I saw that you've portrayed me as someone who is very greedy, asks for more money and wants to boycott. "The third was up and down a little bit, but in general, it was a great performance", said the former six-time Australian Open champion.

Maria Sharapova, the 2008 Australian Open victor, hurried through the first set on Rod Laver Arena in 23 minutes before beating No. 14-seeded Anastasija Sevastova 6-1, 7-6 (4). "I love Australia. I love the summer-time".

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The top-ranked Spaniard, who made a splash as a teenager with his trademark sleeveless shirts and knee-length pirate trousers, came into this year's Australian Open with questions about his health and readiness to compete following a taxing season that saw him capture two Grand Slams and return to No. 1.

He said: "It feels so great to be back here, so great to be back on the tennis court. A lot of things to smile about".

Kerber and Sharapova have played seven times before, with the Russian leading 4-3 but having lost the last two.

And it seems that the scoreboard was rightly in Sharapova's favour as the Russian who came through with a 6-1, 6-4 win over her German opponent that lasted 78 minutes. I think it will be a good match.

Djokovic conceded only one game in the first and nearly repeated the feat in the second that he won 6-2. "It's been a while", the former world number one told reporters.

Muguruza was the ninth of the top 16 seeds to exit before the end of the second round, emphasising the wide open nature of the women's draw.

Sharapova had no interest in responding to claims it was inappropriate, saying only: "I was invited to be part of the draw by (tournament director) Craig Tiley and the tournament organisation, and I kindly accepted".

On the men's side, No. 13 Sam Querrey restored some order for the US with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Feliciano Lopez.

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