Number one seed and favourite to regain the Australian Open title, Novak Djokovic was in commanding form in his first round match at the Australian Open earlier today, as he took little time in overcoming Aljaz Bedene in straight sets. The Welwyn Garden City-based Bedene, who is looking to gain a British passport in the near future, succumbed to the wily Serbian 6-3 6-2 6-4. Still only 25 years old, Bedene would be an interesting player to have available for Davis Cup matches in future for Britain should his application be successful, but for now the Slovenian was no match for his superior opponent Down Under.

He battled well early on, but as expected had no response when Djokovic raised his game, as the player with 48 career titles to his name already goes in search of his fifth Australian Open and eighth Grand Slam in total success in Melbourne.

Bedene reached the final in Chennai recently, where he lost to the reigning Aussie Open champion Stan Wawrinka from Switzerland, the number two player in that country behind the great Roger Federer. Wawrinka was another man in action today and began his defence of the crown he so joyfully claimed twelve months ago, and with it his first Grand Slam, with an equally convincing success over Marsel Ilhan of Turkey, 6-1 6-4 6-2. Although only seeded four this time, Wawrinka could be a major threat once more if he can regain the form that saw him take the title last time, defeating Djokovic in an epic quarter-final before proceeding to beat an injured Rafael Nadal in the final itself.

Canadian world number eight seed Milos Raonic also progressed to round two with a straight sets victory over the Ukrainian qualifier Illya Marchenko, which included two tie-breaks. Joining him there will be the ever dangerous Japanese player Kei Nishikori (seeded five) who overcame Nicolas Almagro from Spain 6-4 7-6 6-2.

Four seeded players became casualties today in the first round, as Fabio Fognini of Italy (seeded 16), Julien Benneteau of France (seeded 25), Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay (seeded 27) and Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine (seeded 21) were upset by less fancied opponents.