Croatia's Ivo Karlovic and Horacio Zeballos set a record for most games played in an Australian Open with 84, as Karlovic came back from two sets down to win 6-7 (6), 3-6, 7-6, 6-2, 22-20 in a match that lasted five hours and 14 minutes, just 38 minutes shy of the record for longest match ever in Melbourne.
It may seem straightforward but it was not routine, Associated Press reports.
With top players like Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer starting their campaign with a win, Djokovic will be keen to join them in the second round.
Verdasco hasn't beaten Djokovic for almost seven years, but he did hold seven match points against the Serb in a thrilling semi-final this month in Doha.
Novak Djokovic made it through to the second round of the Australian Open by beating Spain's Fernando Verdasco 6-1,7-6 (7-4), 6-2.
"I'm very pleased, considering I had one of the toughest first-round draws and definitely considering his form". Even if you swap the tennis racket in his hand with a cricket bat, and replace the usual top-spin return from tennis players with the spin of Australian cricketing legend Shane Warne, the defending Australian Open champ looks right at home.
The 42 games played in the last set is more than enough for an entire match in itself. The Spanish left-hander Verdasco placed 7th in the 2009 rankings and has beaten Rafael Nadal past year in one of the best and latest-finishing semifinals ever at the Australian Open.
"Never easy, the first round - there is always little bit more nerves at the beginning", Nadal said.
Williams became engaged to Alexis Ohanian during the holiday break, and the Reddit co-founder was in the crowd at Rod Laver Arena. She has been asked repeatedly about her wedding plans since arriving in Australia. "Of course, everybody I guess experiences differently, the match and the conditions", Djokovic said. She also trounced Sara Sorribes Tormo in the first round 6-2, 6-0 and I don't see any player on tour wanting a piece of Pliskova right now. Williams told the press that she will be looking at the bigger picture in February but as of now focus is what she can think about.
"With today being Martin Luther King Day, it's important to spread the message of equality", Williams said.
Asked if she was concerned about the future of equality in the U.S., Williams declined to get into specifics but said the issue is "a concern for just everyone in general".
Bencic is a potential banana skin for Williams, who has played only two matches since September after she halted last season early to recover from injury.
"I am happy with the way I am playing". Rafael Nadal defeated Florian Mayer easily, 3-0 6-3 6-4 6-3.
As usual at Melbourne Park, the heat was a factor. Milos Raonic, the third seed for the men, will face Gilles Muller.
The No. 3-seeded threat Raonic was not distracted by the net-rushing shot-making antics of Brown, dropping 18 aces on the German and finishing with an impressive 46 winners to 25 unforced errors.