MELBOURNE, Jan 20, 2015 (AFP) – Stan Wawrinka got his Australian Open title defence off to a secure start with a straight sets win over Turkey’s Marsel Ilhan in Melbourne on Tuesday.
The Swiss fourth seed, who beat Rafael Nadal in last year’s final, won 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 in 1hr 29min and will next play either Romanian Marius Copil or Spaniard Pablo Andujar in the second round.
Wawrinka had few problems with the 100th-ranked Ilhan with five service breaks while fighting off the two break points on his serve.
The big-serving Swiss has now not lost in the first round in 10 appearances at the Australian Open.
It was a solid performance from Wawrinka, who could play Japanese star Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals in the top half of the men’s draw and possibly face Novak Djokovic in the semis.
“It was great to be back on Rod Laver Arena again, it brings back so many memories from last year,” Wawrinka said.
“It was such an amazing two weeks last year so it was great to come back here and I am pleased with my game in general and I’m excited to start again.”