Top-eight seeds Kei Nishikori and Tomas Berdych have made short work of their opening-round opponents on a hot day one of the Australian Open.
Japanese star Nishikori powered past Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4 6-3 6-3 to set up a second-round clash with long-time friend and training partner Austin Krajicek from the United States.
Berdych, the No.6 seed who has reached the semis at both of the past two Australian Opens, dispatched Indian Yuki Bhambri 7-5 6-1 6-2 with a minimum of fuss.
The seventh-seeded Nishikori also has a good recent record at Melbourne Park, having advanced to at least the last 16 in each of the past four years.
“It was hot but luckily I got finished quickly,” said Nishikori.
“It’s very dry here so actually I didn’t sweat much.
“But it’s important – especially if you want to play two weeks here.
“I think I’m going to play a lot in the daytime so I hope I can finish quick in every match.”
It was the first time in 11 appearances at the Australian Open that the 32-year-old Kohlschreiber had been beaten in the opening round.
Nishikori’s second-round opponent is the 25-year-old Krajicek, who made short work of Chinese qualifier Wu Di, winning 6-4 6-1 6-3 in only his third appearance at a major.
Belgian No.15 seed David Goffin overcame a slow start to down Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky 3-6 6-3 6-4 6-4.
Big-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic is the first seeded casualty, the No.22 seed retiring from his first-round match against Argentine Federico Delbonis while trailing 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 2-1.
Among the leading men in action later on day one are world No.1 Novak Djokovic, Swiss master Roger Federer and Australian Nick Kyrgios.