The No 1 men's singles tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic, led a number of top seeds in making a statement of intent on the opening day of the 2013 Australian Open. The year's first Grand Slam can sometimes be unforgiving on top players who have not prepared well-enough or do not take their early round competitors seriously enough. But Djokovic would have none of that.

Novak Djokovic

The defending champion trounced Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu in straight sets in his first round match, winning 6-2, 6-4, 7-5, to set up a second round meeting with Ryan Harrison of the US. And he looks the favourite to win his fourth Australian Open (2008, 2011, 2012).

"It was a good performance for a first round," Djokovic said afterwards, adding, "I felt I was in control of the match in the opening two sets. Then, you know, he started playing better, striking the ball quite well from both sides on the baseline. I thought he was serving really precisely and really well. It was tough to break. But in the end, that 11th game, I made some good shots, good points, you know, managed to go through straight sets."

Other major seeds through their opening matches in the morning session of play included the fifth seeds in the men's and women's singles draw - Czech Tomas Berdych and German Angelique Kerber. Berdych overpowered the US' Michael Russell in straight sets, while Kerber sailed through her encounter with Ukraine's Elina Svitolina.

Men's 15th seed Stanislas Wawrinka is also through to the next round, after beating Germany's Cedrik-Marcele Stebe in straight sets. There was drama in the men's section though, with the first high-profile casualty. Juan Monaco of Argentina, the 11th seed, was dismissed by Andrey Kuzentsov of Russia.

There were also wins for Jurgen Melzer [26], Fernando Verdasco [22], Julien Benneteau [32], Nicolas Almagro [10] and Kei Nishikori [16], among others.

Women's Draw

Heather Watson

Meanwhile, the 2011 US Open women's singles champion and local favourite Samantha Stosur was unstoppable in her first round match, beating Kai-Chen Chang in straight sets. The ninth seed admitted to being relieved with the first match out of the way and said she expected her performances to improve.

Also through in the women's competition were Marion Bartoli [11], Jelena Jankovic [22], Julia Georges [18], Sorana Cirstea [27] and Li Na of China, the sixth seed. Na, the 2011 French Open champion, beat Sesil Karatantcheva of Kazakhstan in straight sets.

Tournament second seed Maria Sharapova also played in the morning and the Russian (the 2008 champion) was in superb form, dispatching poor compatriot Olga Puchkova 6-0, 6-0.

American Venus Williams, the 25th seed, was also in action and she beat Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan in straight sets. Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland also booked passage to the next round, with a 7-5, 6-0 win over Bojana Bobusic of Australia.

The big news for the UK is that Heather Watson has battled back from losing the first set to claim a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Romania's Alexandra Cadantu. The match, which was played out on Court 13, a little over two hours and Watson will now play either Mona Barthel [32] of Germany or Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan. This is already her career-best performance at Melbourne and should she continue on this path, she is likely to face fourth seed Radwanska in the third round.

Where to Watch Live

For information on where to watch the 2013 Austalian Open live, in the United Kingdom, check out the IBTimes UK preview.