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Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka win Australian Open first round matches

Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka win Australian Open first round matches

Former champion Maria Sharapova enjoyed a winning return to the Australian Open as she wore down Germany's Tatjana Maria 6-1 6-4 on Tuesday to take her place in the second round.

She celebrated by twirling, waving and blowing kisses to the crowd.

"2017, I have said goodbye already, I am not looking back", she said after a forgettable last season.

Both the Romanian and her 17-year-old wildcard opponent needed on-court medical attention before the top seed ran out a battling 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 victor.

Sharapova, who missed last year's Australian Open while serving a 15-month ban for a failed doping test, was happy to beat the player who'd ended her run at the U.S. Open last year.

Her ranking slid into the 20s in 2017, but she's coming back into the kind of form which makes her a title contender.

"This year I want to stay healthy and give myself chances and see what happens at the end".

"I think it's going to be very interesting".

"I have expectations because of my previous results in my career, and I know at what level I can play and what tennis I can produce".

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Six-time champion Novak Djokovic beat American Donald Young 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.

Djokovic, the six-time Australian Open champion, cut an emotional figure after the game, embracing the crowd for their support and revealed that the long lay-off was a hard period for him as he had never been out for more than two months in his career.

"But I used my experience of being in these particular circumstances so many times in my life and that enabled me to keep my focus and start off well with the right intensity".

Garcia subdued Carina Witthoft 6-3, 7-5, while Pliskova had little trouble in dismantling Paraguayan Veronica Cepede6-4, 6-3.

No 4-ranked Alexander Zverev and No 7 David Goffin advanced, but No 20 Roberto Bautista Agut lost to fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, a semifinalist here in 2009, and former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic lost 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (4) to Lukas Lacko.

On the men's side, Sam Querrey was ousted after losing, 6-4, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-2, to the 80th-ranked Marton Fucsovics. No. 8 Jack Sock and No. 16 John Isner went out in the first round.

Madison Keys also reversed a trend, becoming the only one of the four American women who contested the US Open semi-finals last September to reach the second round in Australia.

Halep battled back to take the first set in a tiebreaker and despite going over on her ankle early in the second, she saw the match out comfortably to win 7-6 (5), 6-1.

But it was no doubt a reaffirming afternoon for one of tennis's true champions, who was still debating whether he was healthy enough to play in this major tournament when the new year began and he had not played a genuine match since last July at Wimbledon.

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