Djokovic maintains Melbourne streak

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iol spt jan15 Djokovic Getty Images Three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic beat Leonardo Maye to cruise into the third round with his 23rd straight win at the Australian Open. Photo by Chris Hyde

Melbourne – Three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic beat Argentina's Leonardo Mayer 6-0, 6-4, 6-4 to cruise into the third round with his 23rd straight win at the Australian Open Wednesday.

The Serbian second seed, unbeaten at Melbourne Park since 2010, had few problems with the intense heat and was on court for just one hour and 47 minutes.

He is bidding to become only the second man after Australia's Roy Emerson to win four consecutive Australian Opens and his fifth overall in Melbourne.

It was an improved performance by Djokovic after his sloppy first-round performance against Slovakia's Lukas Lacko on Monday.

He broke the tall Mayer's service five times and did not face a break point on his own serve. He also hit 30 winners to just 11 unforced errors while Mayer made 39 errors.

Djokovic, who has had problems in the past with the Melbourne heat, said he was now better prepared for his matches in the Australian summer.

“I've matured and I got physically better and changed a few things in my diet that helps me to maintain the fitness at a high level throughout the whole year,” he said.

“Obviously it wasn't always like this. Even today it was as hard for him (Mayer) as it was for me and you have to find that mental edge in the tough moments and overcome the conditions.

“I remember back in 2009 I retired on the court against Andy Roddick in the quarter-finals here because of the heat and I did struggle in the past and I'm just happy to see that aspect progressing.”

Djokovic's next opponent will be either Russian 30th seed Dmitry Tursunov or Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin. – AFP

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