Novak Djokovic safely into the second round of the Australian Open
Djokovic's win over Lukas Lacko was his first official match with new coach Boris Becker
Third seed David Ferrer beats Colombia's Alejandro Gonzalez in straight sets
Tomas Berdych, Richard Gasquet and Stanislas Wawrinka also through
Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker’s working relationship got off to a smooth start as the world No. 1 advanced to the second round of the Australian Open.
A winner of the Melbourne grand slam in four of the last six years, top seed Djokovic extended his current winning run to 25 matches with a 6-3 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 defeat of Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko.
It was the first official match the Serb has played since Becker, a six-time grand slam winner, began work as part of Djokovic’s coach team.
They may have only been together for a short time, but Djokovic and Becker have already developed a unique way of communication.
“We speak half English, half German,” Djokovic, who has won 22 consecutive matches in Melbourne, told reporters. “When we need to speak about serious, serious stuff, we turn to English.
“My knowledge of the German language needs to be updated for the serious stuff.
“But he has accepted my kind request to speak to me in German as much as he can because I would like to refresh my knowledge. I used to speak it.”
Third seed David Ferrer took advantage of Monday’s kinder conditions to dispatch Colombia’s Alejandro Gonzalez 6-3 6-4 6-4.
With temperatures predicted to soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday, last year’s semifinalist Ferrer was glad to have secured a second round meeting with Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.
“The conditions, well, it was very hot, sure,” said the Spaniard. “I prefer not too hot, but I think everybody prefers that. I know here in Australia every year it is hot. I know tomorrow it is going to be hotter.”
On a day when the top seeds dominated, No. 7 Tomas Berdych cruised past Kazakhstan’s Aleksandr Nedovyesova.
“I was able to keep with my [game] plan, which was really to be focused on my game and play consistent from the beginning,” Czech Republic’s Berdych said after his 6-3 6-4 6-3 triumph.
“That’s what I did all through the match. I didn’t have any ups and downs. That was a quite solid win.”
Ninth seed Richard Gasquet overcame fellow Frenchman David Guez 7-5 6-4 6-1 to record his 350th win on the ATP World Tour.
Next up for Gasquet is Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko, who emerged victorious from a five-set battle with Poland’s Lukasz Kubot.
World No. 8 Stanislas Wawrinka benefited from the withdrawal of Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev.
The Swiss is confident of bettering his performance at last year’s event when he reached the fourth round.
“I was feeling good,” said Wawrinka, who was leading 6-4 4-1 when Golubev was forced to stop. “I think it’s one of the best starts in a grand slam if I look about my game and how I felt on the court.
“I was moving well, playing strong, playing okay. I made some mistakes, but the first match is never easy. But I’m really happy with the way I started.”