Same Grand Slam, same court, same result. Only the year was different for Novak Djokovic — and the amount of time he needed on the bright blue hard surface at Rod Laver Arena.
The Australian Open defending champion took his first step toward winning his third consecutive title at Melbourne Park — and fourth overall — with a 6-2, 6-4, 7-5 win over Paul-Henri Mathieu of France on Monday.
The match lasted 1 hour, 42 minutes, more than four hours faster than when the Serbian star was last on center court, his victory in last year's final over Rafael Nadal in a 5-hour, 53-minute marathon.
The win ran Djokovic's winning streak at Melbourne to 15 matches and his overall win-loss record to 33-5. It's no wonder Djokovic calls the Australian Open, site of his first of five Grand Slams in 2008, his favorite major.