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Home > Sports > Tennis > Australian Open 2008 > Reuters > Report

Djokovic makes confident start

January 15, 2008 09:54 IST

Third seed Novak Djokovic made a confident start to his Australian Open title bid with an emphatic 6-0, 6-2, 7-6 win over German Benjamin Becker in the first round on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old Serb won the first seven games of the match, taking the opening set in 22 minutes, and although Becker forced a tiebreak in the third set, Djokovic was always in control.

He clinched victory when his opponent sent a crosscourt forehand wide before entertaining the crowd during his on-court interview with an impersonation of women's fifth seed Maria Sharapova [Images].

"I started really well because I was really nervous before the match," Djokovic told reporters. "He is a good player but I was really focused at the start of the match.

"I lost my momentum a little bit but he played well in the third set so it was good to win the first match in straight sets."

Becker, who ended Andre Agassi's [Images] career by beating him at the 2006 US Open, finally held his serve at the fourth attempt and briefly threatened a recovery when he broke Djokovic to love at the start of the third set.

Last year's US Open runner-up quickly regrouped by breaking Becker to love to level at 2-2 but the German refused to lie down, forcing a tiebreak and racing into a 3-0 lead.

Djokovic stayed calm, however, winning the tiebreak 7-5 to clinch victory in just over two hours.

The Serb, seeking his first Grand Slam title, plays Italian Simone Bolelli in the second round.

"People expect me to go far because of my results in hardcourts in 2007 but I am trying not to think about that too much, just to focus on my game," Djokovic said.

"It's all about how you deal with the pressure."

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