Melbourne, Australia Novak Djokovic beat Benjamin Becker 6-0, 6-2, 7-6 (5) today in his first-round match at the Australian Open, racing through the first set in just 22 minutes, generating sympathy for underdog Becker, who couldn't seem to find anything that worked and won only three points on his serve.
The loss continued a stretch of five consecutive first-round exits at Grand Slams for Becker since his upset over Andre Agassi in the fourth round at the 2006 U.S. Open - the last match of Agassi's career.
In other men's matches, No. 25 Fernando Verdasco of Spain advanced over Thierry Ascione of France, 6-4, 6-0, 6-3, and Amer Delic beat fellow American Robert Kendrick, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2.
Women's No. 6 Anna Chakvetadze only played six points before advancing to the second round when Germany's Andrea Petkovic retired with a leg injury.
No. 9 Daniela Hantuchova advanced, 6-3, 7-5, over Vania King of the United States; Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark upset Gisela Dulko of Argentina, 6-1, 6-1 ;and Japan's Akiko Morigami beat Michaella Krajicek, 6-2, 6-2.
Top-ranked Roger Federer, aiming for a third consecutive Australian title and claiming to be 100 percent recovered from a stomach virus that interrupted his preparation, has a night match scheduled tonight against Diego Hartfield of Argentina.
Several more of the tournament's top seeds will open play today.