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Australian Open: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic off to winning starts; Denis Shapovalov bows out

Roger Federer defeated Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 while defending champion Novak Djokovic went past Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6, 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 in the first round of Australian Open.

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Melbourne Updated on: January 20, 2020 18:44 IST
Australian Open
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Roger Federer, Novak Djokvovic off to winning starts; Denis Shapovalov bows out

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic began their Australian Open 2020 campaigns with relatively easy wins at the Rod Laver Arena on Monday. In other men's singles results, Grigor Dimitrov and Stefanos Tsitsipas also picked up victories but Denis Shapovalov was knocked out by Marton Fucsovics. 

Federer took another step toward a 21st Grand Slam singles title with a routine 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Steve Johnson.

Federer, playing his first tournament of the season, wasn't troubled in his match with the American as he seeks his seventh Australian title. He won his first in Melbourne in 2004.

DJOKOVIC STARTS WITH EASY WIN

Djokovic began his bid for an eighth Australian Open title with a 7-6 (5), 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 win over Jan-Lennard Struff in the last of the matches to finish on a rain-interrupted first day of the tournament.

The defending champion had to deal with a leaky roof as drops of water slowly dripped onto the court behind the baseline at one end and had to be regularly wiped away by ball kids. It was only a minor distraction, though, as he registered his 900th tour-level match win.

SHAPOVALOV KNOCKED OUT

No. 13-seeded Denis Shapovalov is out of the Australian Open after losing in four sets to Marton Fucsovics. The 20-year-old Canadian lost 6-3, 7-6 (7), 6-1, 7-6 (3). Shapovalov berated the umpire and received a code violation during his ill-tempered match on Margaret Court Arena. The blowup came after the third set.

After throwing his racket, Shapovalov was given the code violation that triggered his outburst.

“"I didn't break it. If I break it, 100% code me,” Shapovalov yelled at umpire Renaud Lichtenstein. “You're not doing your job. You're just finding reasons to code me."

Fucsovics also beat the 13th seed last year at Melbourne Park, that time Sam Querrey in the second round.

DIMITROV's SUIT STEALS THE SHOW

Grigor Dimitrov won his first-round match but it wasn't so much his four-set victory that sent social media into a frenzy, but his warm-up track suit that one person described as visual pollution” and another as a fine impersonation of a pair of pajamas.

The jacket and pant combo had matching designs of navy body with yellow dots. Dimitrov said after his 4-6, 6-2 6-0, 6-4 win over Juan Ignacio Londero that since designs are done some eight months in advance, he may have forgotten the color scheme of the bodysuit. When he asked a journalist what she thought of the suit, and she replied she didn't líke it, Dimitrov smiled and thankéd her for her honesty.

TSITSIPAS EASES PAST CARUSO

Stefanos Tsitsipas thrilled his vocal Greek supporters with a 6-0, 6-2, 6-3 win over Salvatore Caruso at Margaret Court Arena. Tsitsipas has been adopted by the large local Greek population in Melbourne and even has a souvlaki named after him at his favorite restaurant, with all proceeds doing to the charity appeal for the local wildfires that have hit the region. 

Containing those fires was alleviated somewhat by heavy rain that forced suspension of all outside matches by mid-afternoon. Play will begin a half-hour early on Tuesday in an attempt to clear the backlog. The forecast is for improved weather on Tuesday.

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