World no. 4 and the ATP Finals champion Daniil Medvedev made a strong start at the Australian Open, beating Vasek Pospisil 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 47 minutes. It was Daniil's 15th straight victory since the last year's Paris Masters, winning the ATP Cup with Russia on Sunday and keeping that form against the Canadian.
Medvedev never lost serve after offering only one break chance to Pospisil, securing five return games from nine chances to seal the deal in straight sets. Daniil tamed his strokes nicely with 20 winners and 13 unforced errors, welcoming over 40 unforced mistakes from the Canadian to advance into the next round.
Medvedev converted the third break chance in the opening game for an instant lead and saved that lone break point in the next game for 2-0. Vasek hit a double fault in game five to lose serve for the second time, allowing Daniil to secure the opener with a hold at 5-2.
Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov made winning start in Melbourne.
The better-ranked player lost only a couple of points in the second set, and Vasek couldn't match that pace. Medvedev broke him in the third game and again at 3-1 to build a comfortable advantage before closing the set with a smash winner at 5-2.
Vasek stayed in touch until game nine when Daniil broke him at 15, with the Russian moving over the top after a hold at love a few minutes later. Radu Albot ousted Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7, 6-0, 6-4, 7-6 in three hours and 15 minutes, earning one of his most notable victories at Majors.
The Moldovan played on a high level, delivering around 50 winners and 40 unforced errors, backed by eight breaks on his tally. Bautista Agut lost the ground in sets two and three, unable to make an extra step in the fourth and force a decider, plagued by 60 unforced mistakes.
Karen Khachanov needed three hours and six minutes for a 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 victory over Aleksandar Vukic in three hours and six minutes to join Medvedev in the second round. Khachanov was in all kinds of trouble at 3-5 in set number three, overcoming that deficit to turn the tables around and bringing the victory home with a single break in set number four.
Playing his 75th straight Major, Feliciano Lopez defeated Li Tu 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-4, scoring at least one victory at Majors in 19 of the previous 20 years!