Fabulous Roger Federer eases past Jan-Lennard Struff at Australian Open

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

The interview, which was most likely the most freaky Federer has experienced, followed his win last night where he continued the longest first-round winning streak in tennis, easing past Slovenian Aljaz Bedene to make it 19 successive tournament-opening wins at the Australian Open.

Although six-times Melbourne champion Djokovic has won all 14 of their meetings at the elite level, his near contemporary is sure to fully test the fitness of the elbow that kept the Serbian on the sidelines for the second half of past year.

"A month ago I didn't know if I was going to come to Australia or not because the elbow was still not prepared for this level of competition", said Djokovic, who knelt down and kissed the court on Margaret Court Arena after sealing victory.

Rising talent Alexander Zverev endured a mid-match lapse but steadied to defeat Peter Gojowczyk 6-1 6-3 4-6 6-3 in an all-German battle and reach the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday. So, you know, I feel like I transported myself into the TV this year and I'm finding myself on Rod Laver Arena competing.

"It was obvious we both suffered on the court today", Djokovic said.

Meanwhile, three-time grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka is an Australian Open second-round casualty with a heavy loss to unseeded American Tennys Sandgren.

Switzerland's Wawrinka, the 2014 champion, was also playing in his first match since Wimbledon because of knee surgery and needed four sets to beat Ricardas Berankis 6-3 6-4 2-6 7-6 (7-2). "I did my job in two sets against someone that's been troubling in the past for me", she said afterwards.

"I may have thrived in those conditions", he said. Djokovic held a private meeting with the players before the tournament to talk about issues on the ATP World Tour. Sometimes, of course, you are right.

"It was tough conditions, brutal, especially the first 90 minutes", he said.

Djokovic, untroubled by scorching conditions at Melbourne Park, beat Frenchman Gael Monfils 4-6 6-3 6-1 6-3 in the second round, though he took aim at organisers for allowing play to continue in such heat. "But I also think that there should be some kind of rational conversation about rules that are maybe imposed or certain things that are concerning players' well-being".

World number one Simona Halep was also convincing in her straight demolition of Canadian Eugenie Bouchard.

Sharapova, still working her way back from a 15-month ban for taking the performance-enhancing substance meldonium in Australia in 2016, showed glimpses of the tennis that made her a five-time major victor.

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. "I couldn't possibly complain, as they built the tournaments and audiences I was gonna play for".