Originally written on Tennis Grand Stand  |  Last updated 11/13/14

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25: Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a backhand in his fourth round match against Lukasz Kubot of Poland during day eight of the 2010 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 25, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Djokovic had plenty of reason to smile after advancing with ease on Monday. In his 2013 Australian Open debut, world #1 Novak Djokovic took a crisp step forward toward his goal of becoming the first man in the Open era to win three straight major titles Down Under.  Facing the unheralded but talented Paul-Henri Mathieu, the world #1 wasted little time under the Melbourne sun in confirming his position among the favorites in the men’s draw. The two-time defending champion wasted no time in signaling his intent with a vicious backhand winner down the line.  A meek forehand error by Mathieu yielded his first service game to the Serb, who seemed content to play solid but not spectacular tennis.  While the Frenchman looked nervous for much of the set, Djokovic emitted an air of calm confidence as he sauntered along the baseline.  The qualifier struggled to take control of baseline rallies against his opponent’s suffocating defense, often attempting too aggressive a shot too early in the ...
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