Raonic and Nadal breeze through
CANADIAN third seed Milos Raonic has shown why he is tipped as a possible winner of the Australian Open, serving 18 aces in a clinical straight-sets win over German Dustin Brown.
Brown loomed as a danger man for Raonic but he was beaten 6-3 6-4 6-2 in a just over an hour and a half.
Raonic lost in the semi-finals at Melbourne last year and showed again he has what it takes to go just as far with his powerful serve proving to be the key weapon.
He hit 18 aces, including four on his second serve, and another 20 unreturned deliveries in an impressive tournament opener.
A Wimbledon runner-up last year, Raonic also hit 46 winners as he looks for a first grand slam title.
Raonic knew Brown would be a tough opponent and was happy to have got the match over without too much difficulty.
"Obviously you want to get in and get out and play as well as you can,” he said.
"Starting off, obviously it's not easy, but I played solid and I was efficient out there, which I'm happy with.
"The main point for at least myself was I really had to focus on myself. He's very capable of going very high up with his level, but that can also drop quite quickly.
"It''s about really providing a solid level for myself, and hopefully that weathers the storm.”
Meanwhile, 14-time major champion Rafael Nadal returned to grand slam action, defeating German journeyman Florian Mayer in straight sets.
The ninth-seeded Spaniard won 6-3 6-4 6-4 in a match lasting just over two hours.
It was the seventh straight time 33-year-old Mayer had been beaten in the opening round of a grand slam event.