Australian Open: Novak Djokovic battles heat to defeat Gael Monfils

Novak Djokovic

Twelve-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic was in fine fettle in his opening match as he returns from an elbow problem that kept him out of action for six months.

"It feels, from a player's perspective, that you're kind of always in a rush", Djokovic said. The Frenchman came to the event high on confidence after capturing the Doha title over Andrey Rublev in convincing fashion while Djokovic withdrew from both Abu Dhabi and Doha before making his season debut at the Kooyong Classic exhibition.

She closed out the match on the second when Sevastova clubbed a forehand long and will next meet the victor of 2016 champion Angelique Kerber and Donna Vekic for a place in the last-16. His opponent Ramos-Vinolas will be fresher, having received a first-round bye, and the Spaniard will look to exploit Djokovic's lack of match fitness.

Novak Djokovic attempts to cool down between games. A stroke of luck gave Djokovic break back point after a net cord victor. I can't blame conditions for my double faults.

Down and out: World No.3 Garbine Muguruza is out of the competition.

The 17th-seeded Keys was dominant serving in the first set.

Struff saved a match point with a searing backhand down the line but fell on the second when Federer crunched a huge serve into the corner.

The Romanian will take on Canada's Eugenie Bouchard in the second round after she beat Oceane Dodin 6-3, 7-6 (5).

But, after leaving the court for a bathroom break, he returned to play the third set.

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Ninth seed Konta had reached the quarter-final and semi-final on her past two visits to Melbourne Park.

He remained unable to breach the world No. 2's serve, though, and Federer racked up 12 aces by the time the contest was finished, per the tournament's official website, with the third set proving as straightforward as the first.

The drama comes after Monfils became distressed during his second-round loss to Djokovic.

Monfils sensationally told a chair umpire he was about to collapse as he struggled to deal with the Melbourne heat.

While Novak Djokovic defeated Gael Monfils on Thursday, the on-court temperature was 104 degrees Farenheit, .

Monfils was seen by the tournament doctor and briefly left the court after giving up the second set. 'He leaned back, like, what is this guy going to do?

To start the third set, it was quite worrying for Monfils who served a number of slow first serves. Those shared traits point to the common qualities that have made each of them such stars - huge natural talent, enduring athleticism and a fierce determination to fully capitalise on both.

"Have been very, very tough conditions yesterday and today", said the top-ranked Nadal, who played at night on Friday after the temperatures had dropped. A net cord victor gave Djokovic the second break in the set as the Frenchman looked more and more likely to focus on trying to win the fourth.

Federer could never truly relax though and Struff broke for a 3-1 lead in the third set with some forceful tennis. Five of his 19 Grand Slam singles titles have been in Australia.


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