Australian Open 2013 day one morning session as it happened

Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams are among the winners in the morning session on day one of the Australia Open.

14 January 2013 Last updated at 08:50 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 0811: 

    Ben Dirs has arrived in the office which means it means it must be nearly bedtime for me. Dirs is frantically typing something so why not let him guide you through the rest of the day's tennis, which includes Lleyton Hewitt's match with Janko Tipsarevic and Heather Watson's third set against Alexandra Cadantu.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    On Twitter: "The main stand on ct13 is entirely British, intoxicated, or both. A huge roar and communal foot stamping nearly brings the stand down."

  3. 0806: 

    Heather Watson looked to be checking out of the tournament but the Brit has a chance of an extended stay after bouncing back to win the second set 6-3.

  4. 0801: 

    Brian Baker, the man who took almost six years off the tour because of injuries but found form last summer at Wimbledon, has made a fine start in Melbourne, beating Alex Bogomolov Jr 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 6-7 (0-7) 3-6 6-2.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    On Twitter: "That was one of the great medical timeouts, an epic. Feels like the match is starting again, which works for Watson who breaks."


    BBC Radio 5 live's David Law: "Heather Watson leads by 4-3 in this second set. Since they had that medical time out, both players at the same time, Heather Watson has won eight of the last nine points and Cadantu's game has fallen to pieces. There's life yet in Heather Watson in this match."

  7. 0753: 

    A glimmer of hope for Heather Watson as she breaks back to level at 3-3 in the second set against Alexandra Cadantu. Fernando Lopez secures the second set 6-2 to go two sets up against Arnau Brugues-Davi, while Brian Baker's match with Alex Bogomolov Jr is into a decider and the American seems to be heading into the second round as he leads 5-2 in the fifth.


    Daily Mail tennis correspondent Mike Dickson on Twitter: "Watson has called out the physio and trainer, looks like she's having her pulse checked and ear examined. Doctor and physio now treating Cadantu's leg, Watson waits. It's like Emergency Ward 6 out here."

  9. 0743: 

    The 20-year-old Tomic could potentially face Roger Federer in the third round, and he's already been chatting about that possibility. "I would love to get in that position to play Roger in the third round," he said. "He has to get there as well. You don't know what can happen. Tennis is a funny sport, so we'll see."

  10. 0743: 

    Ebden's out. Barty's out. But Australian tennis has Bernard Tomic to pin their hopes on. "With ability reminiscent of Andy Murray but a mind more in tune with Mario Balotelli, the level of interest around Tomic here far outstrips a world ranking of 43," says BBC Sport's Piers Newbery from Melbourne.

  11. 0735: 

    Bad news from Court 13 if you're flying the flag for Heather Watson. The 20-year-old Brit has twice been broken in the second set and is hurtling towards the exit. Second season syndrome, says Jonathon Overend on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra's Tennis Breakfast programme.

  12. 0732: 

    The resilient Mikhail Youzhny comes back from two sets down to beat the home fans' favourite Matthew Ebden 4-6 6-7 (0-7) 6-2 7-6 (7-4) 6-3. The Australian squandered match point in the fourth set.

  13. 0728: 

    Spain's Feliciano Lopez has wrapped up the first set 6-3 against Arnau Brugues-Davi, but it's not so straightforward for Juan Monaco as he and his opponent Andrey Kuznetsov are battling it out in a tie-break for first set supremacy. Over on Margaret Court Arena, Mikhail Youzhny is serving for a place in the second round.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    On Twitter: "Watson is struggling more than my wifi connection, could be her elbow is an issue or just a solid opponent. HW drops serve to trail 2-6 1-2."

  15. 0720: 

    Heather Watson is a set and a break down to Alexandra Cadantu. The 20-year-old withdrew from warm-up event the Moorilla Hobard International with an elbow injury, but it's the Brit's forehand and not her elbow which seems to be the problem, according to reports from Court 13.


    BBC Radio 5 live's David Law: "Heather Watson's forehand is just all over the place. She's made so many errors. Cadantu is confident here and Watson needs to get close in the second set and make her opponent think about the first round losses she's had."

  17. 0715: 

    The Australian dream seems to be unravelling as Ashleigh Barty's participation ends after a 3-6 6-0 6-1 loss to Dominika Cibulkova, while Mikhail Youzhny is now 4-1 up in the fifth set against Matthew Ebden.


    Tennis journalist Simon Cambers on Twitter: "Lot more mistakes than normal for @HeatherWatson92 in the first set v Cadantu. Hard to tell from the sidelines but elbow may be an issue."

  19. 0707: 

    The usually vociferous Australian supporters are a tad deflated on Margaret Court Arena as Perth-based Matthew Edben is broken in the fifth set, dropping 3-1 behind. Over on Court eight, China's Jie Zheng progresses to the second round at the expense of her compatriot Yuxuan Zhang after a 6-1 3-6 6-4 victory.

  20. 0703: 

    There's plenty of room for improvement where Heather Watson is concerned. The out-of-sorts Brit loses the first set 6-2 to world number 91 Alexandra Cadantu.

  21. 0702: 

    Marion Bartoli's work is done after the Frenchwoman beats Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-2 6-4 to ease into the second round.


    BBC Radio 5 live's David Law: "It seems more that Heather Watson's timing is off. She doesn't seem quite herself, maybe that's because she's losing and is feeling a bit deflated by the scoreline."

  23. 0658: 

    Dominika Cibulkova's match with 16-year-old Ashleigh Barty is into a decider. The Australian, who wonderfully grabbed the first set 6-3, has been broken in the third set and is 3-0 behind.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    On Twitter: "Tough going so far for Watson, the 1st serve and forehand letting her down and Cadantu isn't missing much - 2-4."

  25. 0648: 

    "What are you doing?" shouts Matthew Ebden angrily at himself as Mikhail Youzhny moves to within a point of clinching the fourth set tie-break. The 25-year-old then finds the net, allowing the Russian to level the match. But Ebden's faithful followers continue to sing "Let's go Aussie, let's go".


    Sam Jones on Twitter: "Monday morning! Everyone hates Mondays! #AusOpen later though!!"

    Ben Walters on Twitter: "Surely Cadantu being in top 100 having only won 11 matches highlights possible flaw in rankings system?

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    On Twitter: "Plenty of British support on ct13 for Watson, who's made a scrappy start but recovers an early break with a screaming backhand winner - 2-2."

  28. 0638: 

    A humdinger of a contest on Margaret Court. Matthew Edben, who was two sets to the good, squanders two match points in the fourth, allowing Mikhail Youzhny back into the match. But the Australian's supporters are soon back in full voice as their man breaks back to take the fourth set into a tie-break. By the way, Heather Watson has broken back to level at 2-2 in the first set.

  29. 0633: 

    Heather Watson can do little to prevent Alexandra Cadantu from grabbing break point and nudging 2-1 ahead in the opening set. Omens are good, though, for Watson as her Romanian opponent, ranked 91st in the world, failed to progress beyond the first round in all four of last year's Grand Slam matches. In fact, she's only won 11 Tour matches.


    Fifteenth seed Stanislas Wawrinka on Twitter: "Back to the Hotel! Really happy with my day...62 64 63!!Great start here @AustralianOpen! Now time to relax..."


    BBC Radio 5 live's David Law watching Heather Watson v Alexandra Cadantu: "She is level at 1-1. She fought off a break point, was in a position of supremacy in the third game of this match but went a break point down, but fought them off in typical Heather Watson style. No early signs of discomfort from the elbow problem we know Heather Watson has been carrying recently."

  32. 0623: 

    Last year's Wimbledon semi-finalist Angelique Kerber is through to the second round after beating Elina Svitolina 6-2 6-4.

  33. 0621: 

    World number 47 Heather Watson has a game in the bag. It's 1-1 in the opening set against Alexandra Cadantu.

  34. 0617: 

    The sound of euphoria reverberates around Hisense Arena because Australian teenager Ashleigh Barty, who is ranked 174 in the world, has surprisingly won the first set 6-3 against Dominika Cibulkova. Could the 16-year-old defeat the 15th seed?


    BBC Radio 5 live's David Law on Twitter: "By the way. Interviewed Ryan Harrison. An impressive young man. Confident, accommodating, dedicated to be the best he can be. And Harrison clearly thinks the best he can be is No.1 in the world and a Grand Slam champion. But understands there is a long way to go."

  36. 0608: 

    Australian fans on Margaret Court Arena are in full song where home favourite Matthew Ebden has 23rd seed Mikhail Youzhny on the ropes. The Australian was two sets up, but there's signs of a comeback from the Russian as he clinched the third set 6-2.

  37. 0600: 
    Live now

    If you like tennis with your breakfast then tune into BBC 5 live sports extra and listen to their Tennis Breakfast programme live from Melbourne Park. I would if I were you, but that's just me.

  38. 0554: 

    And it's over. Alize Cornet sets up a second-round meeting with Venus Williams after a hard fought 7-5 6-7 (3-7) 10-8 victory.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    On Twitter: "Cornet to serve for the match for the third time. "If she doesn't do it this time I'm calling it beer o'clock," says the bloke next to me."

  40. 0549: 

    Wake up Heather Watson fans! We didn't think it would happen. We thought it would be a Malisse versus Isner marathon - but Alize Cornet has broken Marina Erakovic in the deciding set to nudge 9-8 ahead and is serving for the match.

  41. 0546: 

    One of the stars of last year's Wimbledon, Brian Baker, won the first set against Alex Bogomolov Jr and has broken in the second for a 4-3 lead. Over on Court Two, Angelique Kerber is a set up against Elina Svitolina, but the Ukrainian has broken in the second and leads 2-0.


    Elliot Richardson on Twitter: "Coffee and the Australian Open tennis updates actually make these early starts bearable."

  43. 0534: 

    And so the wait for Heather Watson's appearance continues... The Briton is waiting for the match between Alize Cornet and Marina Erakovic to finish, but that tussle is 7-7 in the third set. Hopefully Heather has a good book to read...

  44. 0531: 

    More from Novak Djokovic after his first-round win: "I thought it was a really good match. We both served well in the second and third [sets], but I managed to hold on and play well when I needed to. It's a two week long event, it's the first day, everybody's obviously excited. For me, it was great to be back here. I love this court and hopefully I can continue playing well."

  45. 0530: 

    Djokovic's victory means the afternoon schedule on Rod Laver Arena has been completed. Lleyton Hewitt will kick off the evening session (at around 0800 GMT) against Janko Tipsarevic and the pair will be followed by Ana Ivanovic and Melinda Czink.


    Daily Mail tennis correspondent Mike Dickson on Twitter: "Djokovic wins his first Oz Open match in 102 minutes - that's 4 hours and 11 minutes shorter than final v Nadal last year."

  47. 0520: 

    Defending champion Novak Djokovic after his straight-sets win: "It's amazing to be back and thank you all for coming and supporting."

    Djokovic on not competing leading up to the Australian Open: "It was a long season last year, very challenging, on and off the court, and I managed to finish it in style but I needed time to regroup."

  48. 0511: 

    A guttural roar from Fernando Verdasco as the Spaniard comes back from behind to eventually swat away the unseeded David Goffin 6-3 3-6 4-6 6-3 6-4.

  49. 0513: 

    No hiccups. No drama. No problem. Defending champion Novak Djokovic ends the match with a forehand winner for a 6-2 6-4 7-5 victory over Paul-Henri Mathieu.

  50. 0509: 

    That's boootiful. Novak Djokovic whips a forehand winner into the corner and, at 15-30, Paul-Henri Mathieu's serve is under pressure. The Serbian engineers two break points and moves 6-5 ahead when the Frenchman nets a forehand. The world number one celebrates with a clenched fist. The end is within sight.

  51. 0506: 

    Jelena Jankovic completes a straightforward 6-2 6-2 over the unseeded Johanna Larsson.

  52. 0500: 

    It's still with serve in the third set between Novak Djokovic and Paul-Henri Mathieu. The Djokovic backhand a weapon of wonder during the third set and the Serbian holds to 15 for 4-4.

  53. 0452: 

    Tomas Berdych has little problem negotiating the unseeded Michael Russell. The Czech fifth seed progresses to the second round after a 6-3 7-5 6-3 win.


    Venus Williams on Twitter: "Thanks everyone today for the cheers, it's always good to get the first match under your belt! Gotta keep it going!"

  55. 0446: 

    Paul-Henri Mathieu leads for the first time in the match against Novak Djokovic. The Frenchman twice holds serve to ensure the third set remains with serve at 2-1. Djokovic has eased off the pedal slightly, but there's little to indicate the Serb will falter in this third set.

  56. 0437: 

    America's great hope Ryan Harrison advances into the second round after a 2-6 6-4 7-5 6-4 victory over Colombia's Santiago Giraldo.

  57. 0436: 

    It takes Novak Djokovic 61 minutes to move two sets ahead against Paul-Henri Mathieu after the Serb won the second set 6-4.

  58. 0432: 

    Samantha Stosur after her first-round win over Kai-Chen Chang: "I desperately wanted to win out there today but I didn't feel it more than other Grand Slams. Everyone is entitled to think what they think but I have the group around me that I trust. There's a few things I can do better. I need to keep serving well, and wasn't happy with my returns."

  59. 0429: 

    Paul-Henri Mathieu is hanging on, with Novak Djokovic a break up and 4-3 ahead in the second set. Other games are available, of course... Fernando Verdasco has reeled in David Goffin to take the match into the fifth set. And it's a promising start for Jelena Jankovic, who has claimed the first set 6-2 against Johanna Larsson.


    Andy Roddick on Twitter: "First time I've watched tennis in awhile.. ...... Djokovic is still really good #sameol hahaha."

  61. 0413: 

    What's going on around the courts? Fifth seed Tomas Berdych is two sets to the good against Michael Russell, while Fernando Verdasco is 5-2 ahead in the fourth set against David Goffin in a match which looks likely to be decided in the fifth. Klara Zakopalova, seeded 23, has beaten Chanelle Scheepers 6-1 6-2.

  62. 0410: 

    Paul-Henri Mathieu proving to be little more than a training partner for Novak Djokovic. The 25-year-old does exactly as he did in the first set, break his opponent in the opening game, and although there's a slight wobble in the second game the Serb recovers from break point to eke a 2-0 lead.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "A busy night ahead for British tennis on Tuesday, with Andy Murray v Robin Haase opening play on Rod Laver Arena at 00:00 GMT, and Jamie Baker v Lukas Rosol and Laura Robson v Melanie Oudin both scheduled third on their respective courts. At a guess, that could mean they are in action at around 04:00-05:00 GMT."

  64. 0401: 

    Novak Djokovic wraps up the first set 6-2 in a little over 30 minutes. The Serb making it look easy peasy lemon squeezy.

  65. 0353: 

    Paul-Henri Mathieu holds serve with a deft volley, but world number one Novak Djokovic is in command after engineering a 5-2 lead. The two-time champion sips some squash during the changeover before heading to the baseline to serve for the set.

  66. 0347: 

    America's Ryan Harrison has bounced back from losing the first set to level the match against Santiago Giraldo of Columbia. That match is on serve at 5-5 in the third. Britain's Heather Watson will probably have to wait a little longer before getting her campaign under way as the preceding match between Alize Cornet and Marina Erakovic looks to be heading into a decider.

  67. 0344: 

    David Goffin's debut in the Australian Open main draw is going swimmingly. The baby faced Belgian, who lost to Roger Federer in four sets in the fourth round of last year's French Open, has won the third set 6-4 to take a 2-1 lead over Fernando Verdasco.


    Joshua Bolaji on Twitter: "I think the question concerning Venus is: how hungry is she? It seems that her attention is very divided, unlike Serena."

    PotomacWill on Twitter: "Aussie Open: Will Caroline Wozniacki get far enough to face Serena Williams in match play after publicly ridiculing Serena."

  69. 0338: 

    The court on Rod Laver Arena is bathed in sunshine and defending champion Novak Djokovic has broken Paul-Henri Mathieu in the opening game and now leads 2-0. Despite his early success the Serb decides to change racquet.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    On Twitter: "So @andy_murray at 00:00 GMT, @laurarobson5 3rd on Ct 3 & Jamie Baker 3rd on Ct20 maybe at 4/5am. Busy night/day for GB, I'm happy to say."

  71. 0326: 

    It took him three hours and 10 minutes but Nicolas Almagro will just be pleased to be in the second round draw after beating qualifier Steve Johnson 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-7 (6-8) 6-2.

  72. 0319: 

    Hot off the press, I bring you Tuesday's schedule. Serena Williams will be second on Hisense Arena. The third seed will follow former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, who plays Sabine Lisicki. Defending women's champ Victoria Azarenka will trot onto Rod Laver after Andy Murray's match against Robin Haase, while Roger Federer is scheduled third on Rod Laver.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    On Twitter: "Murray to play Haase first up on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday @AustralianOpen 11am local and midnight UK. Tomic v Mayer at night, obviously."

  74. 0311: 

    Roars erupt around Rod Laver Arena where home favourite Sam Stosur has beaten Kai-Chen Chang 7-6 (7-3) 6-3. A rare victory for Stosur on home ground.

  75. 0309: 

    Fernando Verdasco has just dropped the second set against David Goffin, while it's a topsy-turvy start to the fifth set between Steve Johnson and Nicolas Almagro. The American underdog, competing in his 12th Tour match, broke back in the second game but then sent a forehand long in the third to allow his Spanish opponent to sneak back in front.

  76. 0302: 

    Sam Stosur has broken in the second set against Kai-Chen Chang for a 4-3 lead, which means defending men's champion Novak Djokovic should start making sure his kit bag is in order ahead of his opener against Paul-Henri Mathieu of France.

  77. 0255: 

    Blimey, blimey, blimey Steve Johnson saves two match points and nicks the fourth set tie-break to take his match against Nicholas Almagro into a decider. The American, ranked 165 places below his opponent in the world rankings, could cause the first upset of the tournament.

  78. 0250: 

    On Court Seven, Stanislas Wawrinka has started brightly and leads Cedrik-Marcel Steve by two sets. There's a thunderous noise emanating from Court Three where Steve Johnson has saved match point in the fourth set tie-break against Nicolas Almagro.


    Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte on Twitter: "Sending good vibes to my girl @serenawilliams Do your thang, u got this! See you back in the States."

  80. 0240: 

    Serena Williams is the favourite to hoist the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup for the sixth time in a two weeks' time, although the top seed is refusing to embrace her tag as the lady to beat. "I don't think like that," she said. "I feel like I have to win seven matches. Everyone in this draw has to win seven matches. They have the same opportunity to do it as I do."

  81. 0231: 

    A chorus of whistles on Rod Laver Arena as the patriotic crowd show their pleasure, and relief, at Sam Stosur overcoming Kai-Chen Chang in the first set tie-break. The ninth seed not quite firing on all cylinders. Did I tell you Fernando Verdasco secured the first set 6-3 against David Goffin? No? Well I should have.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "Benneteau finishes the job in just one hour and 46 minutes against Dimitrov, who was lacklustre at best. Even the offer of a couple of break-back points in what proved to be the final game could not get the Bulgarian firing and he failed to make a return on either. Benneteau pumped his fist as another return drifted wide on match point, and the 32nd seed is the first man into round two. The Court 13 crowd drift off, as does Dimitrov."

  83. 0223: 
    BBC coverage

    I'll be in trouble with my colleagues if I don't tell you that BBC Radio 5 live will be providing more live coverage from Melbourne than ever before. From 0600 GMT, listen to Tennis Breakfast for a round-up of the overnight action and live interviews with players and special guests.

    Alastair Eykyn, David Law, Jeremy Bates and Mark Woodforde will provide commentary as coverage continues, uninterrupted, until the end of the night session. Key day session matches will be covered during "Up All Night" on 5 Live and both the women's and men's finals will be live on 5 Live.

    For more details click on the 5 live and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra websites.


    New York Times tennis correspondent Christopher Clarey on Twitter: "Benneteau very tough draw but perhaps best tennis find new nickname for Dimitrov. Nothing remotely Federer-esque about his Slam record."


    Josh Oates on Twitter: "Stosur has a chance for women's Aus Open which will be good for Oz tennis, because their men are going to do nothing... All year."

    Michael Cole on Twitter: "I don't understand how women can claim equal pay at grand slams! First 3 big names have just proved the level of depth for women."

  86. 0207: 

    In the worlds of Bugs Bunny, t-t-t-hat's all, folks, from Grigor Dimitrov in the Australian Open after the Bulgarian was comfortably beaten by Julien Benneteau 6- 6-2 6-4.

  87. 0203: 

    It's time to snoop around the courts to find out what exactly has been going on. There's a wild roar from Nicolas Almagro on Court Three as the Spaniard celebrates a break of serve. He is 5-2 ahead in the third set. Fernando Verdasco seems in control on Hisense Arena, breaking early for a 3-1 lead against David Goffin.

  88. 0155: 

    "I didn't at any stage say I was 'very relaxed'. I feel more relaxed than I have done the week before a Slam in the past, that's going to be natural," he said before the start of the tournament.

    "I didn't work hard in Miami in the off-season to come in and not be focused or too relaxed or anything like that."

  89. 0154: 

    It was a glorious 2012 for Andy Murray and British eyes, and hopes, will be on the US Open champion this year as Murray attempts to add to his Grand Slam collection. The Scot plays Dutchman Robin Haase on Tuesday and complacency isn't part of the Brit's vocab.


    Michael Patchell on Twitter: "Can Venus Williams win the Australian Open? In a word 'NO'."

    Ricky Radcliffe on Twitter: "Venus Williams performance was stupidly good! She looks like she really wants it this year."

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "Court 13 is one of the larger outside courts but it's standing room only for Dmitrov v Benneteau, with the Frenchman two sets up. Sunblock is being applied, the first beers of the day downed (not by me) and the crowd purrs at another delicate drop volley from Benneteau. A quick finish here would hasten the arrival of Heather Watson in the third match."

  92. 0146: 

    For those of you who have done your research on Steve Johnson you'll know he likes U2 and Coldplay. Who doesn't. I probably don't need to tell you that the 23-year-old right hander hails from Orange County, California, and is ranked 175 in the world. At the moment, he's playing to a standard which belies his lowly ranking.

  93. 0143: 

    Steve Johnson is proving to be more than just a pesky opponent for 10th seed Nicolas Almagro. The American producing some magical shots from his racquet to get the better of the Spaniard in the second set tie-break. It's level pegging at one set apiece.

  94. 0139: 

    It's a trouble-free route to the second round for Li Na as the sixth seed beats Sesil Karatantcheva 6-1 6-3. The Chinese star hit 21 winners during her opener, although she will be slightly disappointed with the 31 unforced errors.

  95. 0135: 

    Grigor Dimitrov is in trouble on Court 13. The Bulgarian, who goes by the name of 'Baby Fed', is two sets down against Julien Benneteau of France. Edouard Roger-Vasselin has won the first set against Ruben Bemelmans 6-3, while it's a close tussle between Nicolas Almagro and Steve Johnson on Court Three. The Spaniard secured the first set 7-5, but the second set is into a tiebreak.


    Ewan Powell on Twitter: "Ferrer v Fed final for me, Ferrer had unbelievable end to last season and is capable of taking out Djokovic. Fed will win final."

    Warin Fraser on Twitter: "Writing off Federer as usual! Naive! Tsonga dangerous but not as much as Del Potro! Federer v Djokovic final."

    Matthew Vernon on Twitter: "Only fools discount Federer! Many have tried, none have succeeded. Should be a great year. Would love Murray to win Down Under."

  97. 0126: 

    Asked about her dress, Venus Williams replies: "The inspiration was watercolour. I love watercolours." Monet would probably be impressed by the dress Venus designed herself. It is nice.

  98. 0122: 

    The sanguine Serena Williams is watching sister Venus outmuscle her opponent, the unseeded Galina Voskoboeva. The 25th seed wraps up the match with a driving backhand volley for a 6-1 6-0 win in 60 minutes.


    Second seed Maria Sharapova: "Since I haven't played any matches I knew I'd make a few more mistakes at the beginning than I would normally so I really tried to focus at the start. I feel really good and healthy. This is a long two weeks so being fresh is also important. You don't want to overdo it, especially after a pretty tough off season."


    Times tennis correspondent Neil Harman on Twitter: "Oh dear. The first double bagel of 2013 grand slam season is first match on Centre Court. Not good, except for Maria. 6-0, 6-0 over Puchkova."

  101. 0114: 

    Maria Sharapova launched six aces during her opening match and hit 18 winners against a dumbstruck Olga Puchkova. Three double faults will be a blot on the second seed's stat sheet, while she will no doubt hope to improve on her first serve percentage of 68%.

  102. 0110: 

    "This [the Australian Open] was my third Grand Slam and what an amazing memory to be able to hold that trophy and I certainly hope I can repeat that," says Maria Sharapova before waving to the crowd and heading towards a cluster of fans, eager for the Russian's signature on all sorts of tennis paraphernalia.

  103. 0107: 

    Maria Sharapova made defeating Olga Puchkova seem effortless. The Russian impressively beats her compatriot 6-0 6-0 in 55 minutes.


    Mark Varley on Twitter: "Djokovic - Murray Final an absolute cert. Federer Berdych out in quarters."

    ontheSTARS on Twitter: "I'm predicting Sharapova will cause an upset!"

    Sean on Twitter: "Murray to dominate 2013. He's defo winning Australian Open!"

  105. 0056: 

    As I bite into an very very spicy samosa, Sharapova engineers an early break in the second set. It seems Sharapova and China's Li Na will be able to enjoy Melbourne at their leisure this afternoon as the sixth seed Li wrapped up the first set 6-1 against Sensil Karatantcheva. Venus Williams is also looking good on Hisense Arena. The American has just won the first set 6-1.


    Paul Reader on Twitter: "Australian Open kicks off... and so the nocturnal phase begins."

    William Newnham on Twitter: "It's all about the night session on Rod Laver Arena. Hewitt v Tipsarevic 5 set thriller coming our way! Bound to be ace!"

    Jake Andrew on Twitter: "Heather needs a strong start to 2013, starting tonight. Expectations should be Radwanska in R3 if she is to build on a great 2012."

  107. 0043: 

    Maria Sharapova, radiant in a yellow dress, looks in fine fettle, taking the first set 6-0. Venus Williams has also started brightly, with the American leading Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 4-1, while it's with serve between Julia Goerges and Vera Dushevina.


    As ever, we would love to hear your thoughts on the banquet of tennis we have in store over the next fortnight. Can anyone stop Serena Williams? How will Andy Murray fare? And how many times (approximately) will grunting be discussed? You can tweet your chit chat using the hashtag #bbctennis or lob over a text on 81111. It's going to be a long old day if you don't.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "Maria Sharapova and Novak Djokovic are the biggest names in action today, although Venus Williams will attract plenty of interest against Galina Voskobeva on Hisense Arena. And while British hopes on the opening day lie with Heather Watson against Alexandra Cadantu on Court 13, the match of the day on the outside courts could well take place there first up as Bulgarian talent Grigor Dmitrov plays unpredictable Frenchman Julien Benneteau."


    Peter Deely on Twitter: "As Aussie Open kicks off, it's a Djokovic x2 year with Murray grabbing one and Rafa taking the French, if he manages a comeback."

    Matt McGladrigan on Twitter: "Has to be Djoko/Murray for the title in Australia. Also, Maria is looking nice in yellow."

    Jarleth Eaton on Twitter: "Late night/early morning tennis is always a good thing. Love the Australian Open!"

  111. 0026: 

    Novak Djokovic is scheduled third on Rod Laver and the Serb begins the defence of his title against Paul-Henri Mathieu of France. Nothing is impossible, of course, but the man they call Paulo is seeded 60th in the world and has only beaten the world number one once in five attempts. That's all I'm saying.

  112. 0018: 

    Georges, the 18th seed, and Dushevina are slogging it out on Court Two, while a skip and a jump away, on the Rod Laver Arena, is second seed Maria Sharapova. Last year's finalist is up against fellow Russian Olga Puchkova. A quick search on the world wide web indicates the unseeded 25-year-old can match Sharapova when it comes to sultry poses, but Puchkova shouldn't be a match for the French Open champion on the tennis court.

  113. 0011: 

    Sunhats and sunglasses seem to be de rigueur for spectators in Melbourne today, although Julia Goerges kept her tracksuit top on during the warm-up of her match with Vera Dushevina of Russia which suggests it isn't sweltering out there. The German sends down a tasty first serve which means the Australian Open is under way. If I was a cowboy, which I'm not, I'd perhaps say yeehaw.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "After record temperatures and devastating bushfires around Australia this summer, the first Grand Slam of the year gets under way in perfect conditions. The prediction is for sunshine, 23C and a light breeze, so the big names will want quick wins to conserve energy with temperatures nudging 40C forecast later in the week."

  115. 0004: 

    A very good day to you wherever you are and welcome to the opening day of the Australian Open. If you're in snowy Blighty and need a reason to stay awake then perhaps I should tell you that Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova and Heather Watson will all be in action on day one.


    Andre Agassi on Twitter: "AUS Open...this should be good!!"

  117. 0000: 

    There's snow sweeping across Britain as I type, it's cold, it's bedtime and only a fool would consider playing tennis in such conditions. Only a fool, I tell you! But it's the start of a beautiful day on the other side of the globe. The giant orb in the sky is shining its rays down on southern Australia, making conditions perfect for tennis. It's a good job the Australian Open is held in Melbourne and not Salford, that's all I'm saying.

Australian Open: 14-27 January

Novak Djokovic BBC pundits on Djokovic triumph

"The lesson we've learnt is that there's another level with Djokovic," says Boris Becker.