Gael Monfils seeking first ever win over Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic has issued a call to his fellow pros that they should demand more prize money

She has since had a major slide and is now ranked 112th.

Halep won in straight sets over 17-year-old Australian wildcard Destanee Aiava 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 but it was far from smooth for the popular Romanian.

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam victor and the 2008 Australian champion, was unstoppable in racing through the first set before a battle in the second.

Six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic overcame a poor start - dropping his first two service games - to continue his career-long domination of Gael Monfils.

No 13 Sam Querrey restored some order for the United States men with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Feliciano Lopez.

He also asked the 19 times Grand Slam victor if the secret to his success downunder was from eating "wombat meat" from a native Australian animal.

Maria Sharapova, also making her return to Melbourne Park, said she relished every moment of it in Tuesday's 6-1, 6-4 victory over Tatjana Maria. Young did extremely well to save five match points at 3-5 in the third set and hold for 4-5, but a red-hot Djokovic was ultimately too good.

She won every point on her serve in the first set, holding at love in three games.

It was Kerber's 11th win in a row to start the season.

With the mercury forecast to reach 39C on Thursday Maria Sharapova, Garbine Muguruza and 2016 champion Kerber are all set to swelter through afternoon matches. She beat fellow German Anna-Lena Friedsam in the first round here.

More news: Burning Iranian Tanker Sinks off China's Coast

Defending champion Roger Federer just picked up where he left off, beating Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in a night match, his first on Rod Laver Arena since clinching a career-reviving title in Melbourne past year.

Thiem counted 21 aces among his 57 winners in the match. Hyeon Chung looks better by the match, learning, growing and heading for the top of the game. The Czech rose to number one previous year on the back of her blistering serve, powering down 452 service winners in 68 matches.

The Spaniard had a troubled preparation for the tournament, retiring with cramps in the second round at the Brisbane International and withdrew before her quarterfinal at Sydney because of a right thigh injury.

Djokovic and Wawrinka, both former Australian Open champions, each carried signs of what they had recently been through.

Pera, ranked No. 123, lost in the final round of qualifying and didn't get into the main draw until Monday, when Russia's Margarita Gasparyan withdrew with an injury.

Prize money in the Grand Slams has increased drastically in recent years. After, as was customary, Sharapova tossed them her match-used towel, it was time for groupfies, and the Russian star obliged.

Britain's big hope Johanna Konta also joined the exodus of women's seeds to fall in the first week of the Open.

"When she broke back I thought: "Oh, it's going to be three sets again".

It wasn't Maria Sharapova's choice to miss the last Australian Open.

Sevastova beat Sharapova in last year's US Open fourth round, in what was the latter's comeback Grand Slam following a 15-month doping ban.

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