Defense a pivotal for Djokovic, Williams during Australian Open

By JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic non-stop his Australian Open pretension invulnerability with a straight-sets win, afterwards went to a invulnerability of his competition as reports of match-fixing overshadowed a initial day of a season-opening Grand Slam.

Djokovic had a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over Chung Hyeon of South Korea during Rod Laver Arena on Monday, immediately after women’s fortifying champion and No. 1-ranked Serena Williams started her bid for a seventh Australian pretension with a 6-4, 7-5 win over No. 34-ranked Camila Giorgi.

Williams, who hadn’t finished a rival compare given her bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam in 2015 finished in semifinal better during a U.S. Open, was on justice warming adult when tennis authorities hold a corner news discussion during Melbourne Park to rebut reports from a BBC and Buzzfeed News that match-fixing had left violent in tennis.

ATP authority Chris Kermode and Nigel Willerton, conduct of a Tennis Integrity Unit, represented a 4 ruling bodies of tennis — a ATP, a WTA, a Grand Slam Board and a International Tennis Federation — and responded to allegations that in that final decade 16 players have been regularly flagged to a firmness unit. None of a players were named, nonetheless reports pronounced all had been in a tip 50. Kermode pronounced tennis authorities “absolutely reject any idea that justification of match-fixing has been suppressed for any reason, or isn’t being investigated.”

Djokovic pronounced he suspicion a allegations associated to matches from roughly 10 years ago and didn’t engage active players.

“I don’t consider a shade is expel over a sport,” he said. “People are articulate about names, guessing who these players are. But there’s no genuine explanation or justification nonetheless of any active players. As prolonged as it’s like that, it’s usually speculation.

“From my believe … there is zero function on a tip level.”

He pronounced he couldn’t give a decisive invulnerability of lower-tier tournaments, though combined “there is an organization, authorities, people who take caring of that on a daily basement and make certain to lane it down.”

Williams, like Djokovic, won 3 of a 4 vital titles final season, though hadn’t finished a rival compare for months. She withdrew from a Hopman Cup given of inflammation in her knee, personification usually one set in Perth.

“I haven’t played in a prolonged time, though we have been personification for 30 years, so it’s kind of — we try to concentration on that,” pronounced Williams, who forsaken usually one use diversion opposite Giorgi. “I was means to stay in it and stay ease currently and we consider that’s what matters most.”

The 21-time vital leader pronounced there was no spirit of match-fixing on a women’s tour.

“I play really hard, and any actor we play seems to play hard,” she said. “As an athlete, we do all we can to be not usually great, but, we know, historic.”

Maria Sharapova, who mislaid to Williams in a final here final year and could accommodate her again in a quarterfinals, showed no signs of a left forearm damage that curtailed her preparations when she kick Nao Hibino 6-1, 6-3 in a night match. Genie Bouchard modernized with a 6-3, 6-4 win opposite Alexandra Krunic.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova kick Thai qualifier Luksika Kumkhum, avenging her dissapoint detriment in a initial turn here in 2014, and No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska kick Christina McHale 6-2, 6-3. Also advancing were No. 10 Carla Suarez Navarro, No. 12 Belinda Bencic, No. 13. Robert Vinci and No. 23 Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Former No.1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki mislaid 1-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 to Yulia Putintseva, stability a downward turn during Melbourne Park that has resulted in her exiting one turn progressing any year given she reached a 2011 semifinals.

No. 24 Sloane Stephens, a semifinalist in 2013, mislaid 6-3, 6-3 to Chinese qualifier Wang Qiang, and exited along with No. 26 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and No. 27 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.

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