Djokovic, Kvitova advance at Australian Open

Question of the Day

What has been the biggest debacle on Obama's watch?

View results

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (AP) - Anyone who didn’t know Novak Djokovic won three of the four Grand Slam titles last year only had to look at his shoes.

That’s if his emphatic first-round win Tuesday at the Australian Open wasn’t evidence enough.

Djokovic started his Australian Open defense with a 6-2, 6-0, 6-0 win over Paolo Lorenzi of Italy, wearing a pair of red-white-and-blue shoes with images of his three major trophies on the sides and a Serbian flag on the heels.

He gave up an early break but immediately broke back at love as he won the next 17 games, saving a breakpoint in the opening game of the second set.

“It was a great performance for (my) first official match of the 2012 season,” said the top-ranked Djokovic, whose only lost at a Grand Slam tournament last year was in the French Open semifinals.

The 24-year-old Serb has won two Australian titles _ including his first major in 2008 _ and his game is well suited to the pace of the hard court. But he struggled at times with the heat at Melbourne Park before his breakthrough season last year and didn’t always look comfortable against Lorenzi as the temperature hit 90 degree in the first set.

It didn’t stop him entertaining his fans, though. He played a shot between his legs, with his back to the net, to set up a breakpoint chance in the fourth game of the third set which brought the crowd to its feet.

On the women’s side, second-ranked Petra Kvitova and No. 4 Maria Sharapova advanced with lopsided wins.

After surrendering her opening service game with a double-fault, Wimbledon champion Kvitova won 12 consecutive games in a 6-2, 6-0 win over Russia’s Vera Dushevina.

Wearing the purple color synonymous with Wimbledon, she underlined her growing stature on the women’s tour by breaking her Russian rival’s serve three times in each set.

Kvitova reached the quarterfinals here last year at the start of a season in which she surged up the rankings. Last week, she missed a chance to overhaul Caroline Wozniacki’s No. 1 ranking when she lost in the Sydney International semifinals. She needed to win the Sydney tournament to take the top ranking.

But she gets another chance at Melbourne Park, where she’s one of six women who can finish No. 1.

Sharapova, a former Australian Open and Wimbledon champion, won the first eight games of a 6-0, 6-1 win over Gisela Dulko of Argentina in her first match since returning from an left ankle injury.

The 2008 champion needed just 58 minutes for the win and the only game she lost was on her own serve. She then saved three breakpoints in the last game before serving out the match.

“I’ve been here for 14 days getting used to the conditions,” Sharapova said. “Back in the heat now, but it was like winter before. Different preparation, but sometimes it’s just the way it goes.”

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player
You Might Also Like
  • Nathan Walker waits to take the ice during the Capitals' development camp at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington on Monday, July 9, 2012. (Ryan M.L. Young/The Washington Times)

    Nathan Walker’s NHL dreams send him around the world

  • Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon, third from left, smiles as he warms up with his teammates who were were wearing t-shirts in support of him for the All Star game before an interleague baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Anthony Rendon not an All-Star, but he’s been Nats’ MVP

  • Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter speaks during a media availability in the dugout before an interleague baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Monday, July 7, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    LOVERRO: Suck-up Buck Showalter needs history lesson

  • Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez, left, celebrates with goalkeeper Sergio Romero after scoring the decisive goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup final. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final

  • Washington Redskins safety Tanard Jackson speaks during a media availability after an NFL football training camp practice at Redskins Park, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012 in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again

  • Celebrities In The News
  • Hall of Fame Inductees, KISS, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, Gene Simmons, and Ace Frehley speak at the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Thursday, April, 10, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    KISS rocker Gene Simmons touts 1 percent life: ‘It’s fantastic’

  • This image from video released by Funny Or Die shows President Obama, left, with actor-comedian Zach Galifianakis during an appearance on "Between Two Ferns," the digital short with a laser focus on reaching people aged 18 to 34. The president urged young people to sign up for the new health care plan through an appearance posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014, on the comic website Funny or Die, bypassing TV talk show titans like Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel for an online audience. (AP Photo/Funny Or Die)

    Obama’s ‘Ferns’ interview gets Emmy nod

  • ** FILE ** In this Nov. 12, 2013, file photo, actor Alec Baldwin leaves court in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

    Alec Baldwin in talks to play Rob Ford-like mayor in new NBC drama