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Australian Open to start in Melbourne

Published on Jan 14, 2013 6:03 AM
 
A general view shows Margaret Court arena ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Jan 13, 2013. -- PHOTO : AFP

MELBOURNE (AFP) - Novak Djokovic will seek an unprecedented third straight title and Serena Williams is hot favourite for the women's trophy when the Australian Open gets under way in Melbourne on Monday.

Play starts at 11am (8am Singapore time) at Melbourne Park tennis complex for the year's first Grand Slam, with Djokovic in action on day one.

The Serb takes to centre court, the Rod Laver Arena, where he faces France's Paul-Henri Mathieu as he seeks to become the first man in the professional era to win the Australian Open three times in a row, with record prize money of US$2.56 million (S$3.13 million) awaiting the singles winners.

"I feel this is a point where everybody starts from the same line, so I don't really put myself in a position to have more pressure than the others have, to be honest," Djokovic said. "I've been faced with this particular kind of pressure, defending the title in major events, a few times. So I know how it feels like, what I need to do. As I said, I'm trying to keep it very simple, take it day to day, see how far I can go."

 
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