Novak Djokovic of Serbia began his bid for a record seventh Australian Open title  easily in  Melbourne yesterday. He defeated  American  Mitchell Krueger 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.  It was his 259th match win in a major.  The world number one Djokovic who appeared in his 300th Grand Slam match, had reached the Australian Open second round for 13 consecutive years.

Naomi Osaka of the US  is into the second set of her duel with Magda Linette of Poland. Simon  Halep has  beaten Kanepi in what proved a real battle for last year’s runner-up. Johanna Konta, Elina Svitolina, Serena and Venus Williams, Alex Zverev and Kei Nishikori  have already booked their second-round spots.

The Australian Open, the first grand slam of 2019  kicked off yesterday. The tournament will host the world's top 100 men and an equal number of top  women.  The 107th edition of the Australian Open is the richest yet, boasting a total prize pool of 62.5 million dollars.

The tournament includes men's and women's singles, men's, women's and mixed doubles. It also has junior's championships as well as wheelchair, legends and exhibition events. First held in 1905, the Australian Open is now the largest annual sporting event in the Southern Hemisphere.

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