IBTimes UK

Defending champion Novak Djokovic is safely through to the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne after overcoming Slovakian Lukas Lacko.

The Serbian made light work of the third set after a tough first two to win 6-3 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 and will now take on Argentina's Leonardo Myer in the second round as third seed David Ferrer, Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka and Serena Williams also make it through round one.

World No.1 Djokovic had to work hard against the tenacious Slovakian who seemed determined to cause an upset.

"I know that I haven't played my best, especially in the second set," said Djokovic. "But credit to my opponent who was playing really nice tennis from baseline.

"On the other hand I was a little bit too passive in some stages of the match and was trying to find the proper, I would say, setting and proper balance and footing in the court."

Ferrer cruised through his first round tie with victory over Alejandro Gonzalez of Columbia 6-3 6-4 6-4 while Wawrinka's opponent Andrey Golubev was forced to retire with a calf injury midway through the second set, the match concluding 6-4 4-1.

"We never want the opponent to retire for injury, but that's what happened," said Wawrinka, 28.

"I was feeling good. I think it's one of my best starts in a Grand Slam. I was moving well, playing strong, playing OK. I made some mistakes, but for the first match it's never easy."

In the women's draw, world No.1 Williams took just 57 minutes to overcome 17-year-old Australian wildcard Ashleigh Barty to win 6-2 6-1.

The American, who has now extended her winning streak to 23 matches, said: "I was so ready today because she's such a good player with such a good future."

She added: "I would love to have a win here but there are so many tough opponents in the tournament so I have to come out and enjoy myself.

British No.1 Andy Muarry is in action tomorrow, taking on Go Soeda of Japan in his first-round tie.