Djokovic wins for new coach Becker
12:22pm Monday 13th January 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Novak Djokovic secured his first win under new head coach Boris Becker as Stefan Edberg made his return to the big stage at the Australian Open.
Defending champion Djokovic made it 22 straight wins at Melbourne Park and 25 in a row since the US Open final last season with a 6-3 7-6 (7/2) 6-1 victory over Slovakian Lukas Lacko.
Djokovic has made that court his own over the last three years and, although he was far from at his best against Lacko, he was still much too good for the world number 96.
The Serbian had a tendency to over-hit his normally rock-solid backhand but, once he won the second set tie-break, it was one-way traffic.
Djokovic hired Becker last month in a move that surprised the tennis world, with the 26-year-old's long-time coach Marian Vajda taking a back seat.
Becker joined Djokovic for the exhibition event in Abu Dhabi last month, but the Serbian said: "It was the first official match so yes it felt different, but in a positive way.
"We both hope to get the right benefits and the right results right away here in Australia. We worked very hard during the last four weeks. We believe that hard work will pay off, as was the case in the past.
"I did not expect ourselves to understand each other so well right away. So it all goes in the right direction."
Djokovic was overall content with the match, saying: "I was happy with my concentration. I thought I prepared well. Physically I feel great. I'm very motivated obviously to play my best.
"I know that I haven't played my best, especially in the second set. But also credit to my opponent, who was playing really nice tennis from the baseline."
Becker's great 1980s rival Edberg, meanwhile, took part in his first training session with Roger Federer.
The Swede, a six-time grand slam champion, has agreed to work with Federer for 10 weeks this season alongside the world number six's regular coach Severin Luthi.
Edberg told reporters: "I am doing it because I really think I can make a little difference. If I can make a little difference, maybe that will take him back to where he was."
Federer begins his campaign on Tuesday against Australian wild card James Duckworth in the second match on Rod Laver Arena.
Elsewhere there were comfortable wins for top-10 members David Ferrer, Stanislas Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych.
Third seed Ferrer, who reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park last year, defeated Colombian Alejandro Gonzalez 6-3 6-4 6-4.
The Spaniard also has a new coach having split from Javier Piles, his mentor of 15 years, and hired Jose Altur.
He said of the Piles decision: "We both broke it off because we were a lot of years together, and we decided to stop. Nothing else. Just that. Nothing personal. Javier is very special for me. He's a good friend."
Eighth seed Wawrinka did not even have to finish his match after Kazakh opponent Andrey Golubev retired with the Swiss leading 6-4 4-1.
Wawrinka was voted Swiss personality of the year at the weekend after his great form in 2013, which began with a titanic five-set loss to Djokovic in the fourth round at Melbourne Park.
He said: "I have more confidence in myself. I know that I can play and go well in the grand slams. I already did.
"I started the year well with winning the first title (in Chennai), so that's giving me a lot of confidence. I'm feeling physically strong and mentally there."
Seventh seed Berdych also won in straight sets, beating another Kazakh, Alexandr Nedovyesov, 6-3 6-4 6-3.
German Tommy Haas was the first seed to go out, a shoulder injury forcing the 35-year-old to withdraw while trailing Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-5 5-2.
Ninth seed Richard Gasquet eased through in straight sets but 19th seed Kevin Anderson and 20th seed Jerzy Janowicz both had to fight back from two sets down.
The standout match on Tuesday sees world number one Rafael Nadal face Australian wild child Bernard Tomic, while Lleyton Hewitt, Juan Martin del Potro and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are also in action.