Novak Djokovic celebrated his long-awaited return to the grand slam stage in Melbourne. Photo: Dean Lewins/BackpagePix

MELBOURNE – Six-times champion Novak Djokovic looked the part as he powered to a convincing first round victory at the Australian Open on Tuesday on his return from an elbow injury.

The 12-times Grand Slam champion, seeded an unfamiliar 14, was too strong for American Donald Young, winning 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in 1hr 51min on Margaret Court Arena.

The Serbian former world number one has been out of action for six months.

But he looked in good shape as he worked his way into the second round where he will play either France's Gael Monfils or Spanish qualifier Jaume Munar.

Djokovic, wearing a flesh-coloured protective guard on his right serving elbow, saluted the cheering crowd as he won on his sixth match point.

It was an impressive performance, with the Serb breaking Young's left-handed serve six times, hitting 33 winners and conceding only 27 unforced errors.

“There is no better place to start than here in Australia, I love coming here, I love playing here,” Djokovic told the crowd.

“It's been a long period without any official matches but I spent as much quality time as I could with my family.

“I wanted to start with the right intensity, which I have, I played perfect tennis in the first couple of sets and Donald came back in the third set.”