Roger Federer began the defence of his Australian Open title with a routine victory over Aljaz Bedene on Rod Laver Arena.
Having arrived in Melbourne 12 months ago not knowing what to expect from himself following a six-month break to recuperate his knee, this time around Federer is confident in both mind and body.
He did not crush Bedene, back representing Slovenia following his nearly three years as a British player, but one break in the first two sets and two in the third proved enough for a 6-3 6-4 6-3 victory lasting an hour and 39 minutes.
Bedene created two chances on the Federer serve but could not take either and the second seed still had several gears to go as he cantered over the finish line.
Federer, who next faces German Jan-Lennard Struff, said: “I was thinking back a lot about what happened last year so walking out here again is an amazing feeling and hopefully I can keep that going for a little bit longer.”
The 36-year-old admitted he fears he is in for disappointment this year after the supreme high of 12 months ago, when he defeated Rafael Nadal in an epic five-set final.
“Last year was so good I’m just worried I know it won’t be,” he said. “Guys are coming back, Rafa seems to be in tip-top shape. But last year will always be in the vault.”