Djokovic, Serena into 2nd round in Australia
MELBOURNE, Australia - The Associated PressNovak Djokovic was having an easy time of it in his first-round match at the Australian Open, so he decided to experiment by coming to the net.
Like pretty much everything he does on the tennis court these days, it was an unqualified success. He easily beat Paolo Lorenzi 6-2, 6-0, 6-0 yesterday to advance to the second round, as did five-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams in the last match of the night at Rod Laver Arena.
Djokovic is attempting to join Rod Laver, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in winning three straight Grand Slam singles titles in the Open era.
“When you’re 3- , 4-love up, why not try some other things, something that is not characteristic for your game,” said Djokovic, who usually doesn’t stray too far from the baseline. “But I am definitely working on my net game, approaching the short balls as much as I can, and take my chances.” He won 21 of 26 points he attempted at the net.
Williams started her quest for a sixth Australian title in a match that finished nearly an hour into Wednesday morning. Appearing to have recovered from a serious left ankle injury that forced her out of the Brisbane International two weeks ago, Williams moved well around the court as she beat Tamira Paszek 6-3, 6-2.
Williams broke Paszek in the fifth game of the second set, then blasted four aces past the Austrian in the next game for a 4-2 lead. She set up match point with an ace, then used a service winner to clinch it. “I think I was a wee bit tight, I always get a little nervous in my first-round matches,” Williams said.
In an afternoon match, U.S. Open women’s champion and Australian hope Sam Stosur was beaten by Sorana Cirstea 7-6 (2), 6-3.