Federer, Djokovic, Wawrinka, Kerber and Sharapova Advance

Federer, Djokovic, Wawrinka, Kerber and Sharapova AdvanceFederer, Djokovic, Wawrinka, Kerber and Sharapova Advance

Defending champion Roger Federer along with four other former winners advanced to the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Tuesday.

According to, world No. 2 Federer beat Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in the night session in Rod Laver Arena.

Six-time champion Novak Djokovic is on the comeback trail, after being sidelined with an elbow injury since Wimbledon. The Serb opened with a decisive 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win over American Donald Young.

Djokovic, who is the president of the Association of Tennis Professionals Player Council, had to dismiss false reports about a possible player boycott. Djokovic held a private meeting with the players before the tournament to talk about issues on the ATP World Tour.

“Well, I saw that some of you have written a story that has been a little bit exaggerated,” Djokovic said to media. “You’ve taken things out of the context. I saw that you’ve portrayed me as someone who is very greedy, asks for more money and wants to boycott”.

He said he respected the media’s freedom and decisions but asserted “not much of what you have written is true. What happened is that we, players, just wanted to have us players talk about certain topics. I don’t think there is anything unhealthy about that. We, a hundred players, get together two or three times in a whole year. This is one of the places where we get together. We wanted to use this opportunity to speak about certain subjects and see how everyone reacts to that. No decisions were made. There were no talks about boycott or anything like that. That’s all I can say. Nothing much else to add”.

Another former champion making a comeback is Stan Wawrinka. The 2014 winner needed four sets to advance on Tuesday beating Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (2). The Swiss was off the tour since Wimbledon with knee surgery.

 Sharapova After Doping Ban

 Maria Sharapova is back in Melbourne. This is her first Australian Open since 2016. She was suspended for 15 months for a doping violation, when she tested positive for a banned substance – meldonium during the last time she played in the Australian Open.

The 2008 winner defeated Tatjana Maria 6-1, 6-4 on the second show court, Margaret Court Arena.

“It felt really good (to be back),” said Sharapova. “You know, every point was really important to me today. Didn’t know much about my opponent. Very strange, considering I have been on tour many years and hadn’t played her. She’s been around for a while, as well.”

Sharapova will next play the woman who beat her at the US Open – 14th seed Anastasija Sevastova.

Top seed Simona Halep rebounded from 2-5 down in the first set and an ankle injury to get past Australian wildcard Destanee Aiava 7-6 (5), 6-1. This sets up a battle against 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard in the second round.

Former No. 1 and 21st seed Angelique Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open champion, has a 10-match win streak. She defeated German countrywoman Anna-Lena Friedsam continued her 6-0, 6-4.

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