Australian Open 2017: Roger Federer makes winning return in Melbourne

Roger Federer
Roger Federer made his Grand Slam return in Melbourne after injuring his knee in 2016

Four-time champion Roger Federer reached the Australian Open second round with a four-set victory over Austria's Jurgen Melzer in Melbourne.

The 35-year-old, appearing in his first competitive match in six months after injuring his knee, won 7-5 3-6 6-2 6-2.

World number four Stan Wawrinka needed five sets to beat Slovakia's Martin Klizan 4-6 6-4 7-5 4-6 6-4.

Japan's Kei Nishikori, ranked fifth, is through after beating Russia's Andrey Kuznetsov 5-7 6-1 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-2.

The 27-year-old will next play France's Jeremy Chardy while Wawrinka, 31, will face American Steve Johnson.

Federer, who hit 19 aces in his two-hour match against Melzer, faces 20-year-old American Noah Rubin in round two.

"Any match is a good match, even if I had lost, because I'm back on the court," the 17-time Grand Slam champion said.

"Last year was tough but it is nice to be playing normal tennis again. It was a long road but I made it."

Chardy, ranked 72nd in the world, progressed when Spain's Nicolas Almagro pulled out with a calf injury four games into their match.

Almagro, 31, rebuffed suggestions he had only turned up to claim the $50,000 (£31,000) that comes with a first-round exit.

He said: "I have more than $10m. I'm not going to play for $50,000. It is not the reason."

Wawrinka and Nishikori come through lengthy tests

Wawrinka, winner in 2014, is appearing in his 12th Australian Open and has never lost in the first round.

The Swiss fought back from a break down in the final set to edge Klizan in a testing three-hour encounter during which Wawrinka climbed over the net to apologise after accidentally striking his opponent with the ball.

"I was fighting a lot and I never give up but it was most important to get through," he said.

Nishikori, who is attempting to become the first Asian man to win a Grand Slam, secured victory despite receiving medical treatment in the final set.

"It wasn't easy, especially mentally and I should have finished it in four sets," he added.

Kyrgios through after nosebleed

Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios was forced into a medical timeout after he had a nosebleed

Australian Nick Kyrgios raced to victory in his opener against Portuguese Gastao Elias, who is ranked 77th in the world.

The 14th seed took only 84 minutes to win 6-1 6-2 6-2, despite an eight-minute medical timeout to treat a nosebleed in the first set.

Despite the stoppage, it took him just 19 minutes to win the first set as he powered into the second round.

"I'm getting some great treatment for it from my team and it didn't cause me any problems," Kyrgios said.

Kyrgios will next play Italy's Andreas Seppi, who beat Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (3-7) 7-5.

Cilic fights back against world number 278

Tenth seed Tomas Berdych, twice a semi-finalist in Melbourne, also had a comfortable passage as his Italian opponent Luca Vanni retired after losing the opening set 6-1.

Seventh seed Marin Cilic fought back from two sets down to beat world number 278 Jerzy Janowicz 4-6 4-6 6-2 6-2 6-3 in three hours and set up a meeting with Britain's Dan Evans in round two.

France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, ranked 12th in the world, advanced after a 6-1 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 victory over Brazilian Thiago Monteiro.

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