Novak Djokovic comes through Mitchell Krueger test to secure second-round spot

Rafael Nadal 'Facing Federer has been big challenge all around the world'

Rafael Nadal 'Facing Federer has been big challenge all around the world'

Coverage: Daily live commentaries on the BBC Sport website, listen to Tennis Breakfast daily from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and watch highlights on BBC TV and online from 19 January.

Novak Djokovic enjoyed a routine victory in his first-round Australian Open match, beating Mitchell Krueger to set up an intriguing tie with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Djokovic had little trouble getting past American qualifier Mitchell Krueger 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in his round-one match on Tuesday night.

Djokovic closed out last season magnificently, making an astonishing climb back from outside the world's top 20 in June, winning Wimbledon and the US Open on the way to reclaiming the number one ranking in November.

That was as good as it got for the American, as the Serb knuckled down to break right back and coasted to an easy victory. The Rod Laver Arena crowd then let out a collective gasp when the on-court interviewer, Jim Courier, said that Djokovic's next match was a repeat of the 2008 final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, of France.

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" Twelve months ago it was quite a different sensation on the court with the elbow injury".

It was nearly seven years ago that Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic faced each other in an exciting match that lasted five hours and 53 minutes in the Australian Open final.

That their 23rd career meeting should occur so early at this Australian Open highlights a hard period for the world No.177 Frenchman, who required a wildcard entry after a knee injury sidelined him for seven months in 2018.

But the 33-year-old will be a risky opponent, having reached the semi-finals in his comeback tournament in Brisbane and beaten Martin Klizan of Slovakia in straight sets in the first round in Melbourne. We played here in our first Grand Slam final here 11 years ago.

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