Australian Open: ASB Classic winner Coco Gauff makes light work of opening round at Melbourne

Newly crowned ASB Classic champion Coco Gauff has joined fellow American Jessica Pegula in racing into the Australian Open second round on the opening day, briskly swatting aside her opponent in bright sunshine at Melbourne.

The teenager, who came into the year's first Grand Slam on the back of her title win at Auckland, confirmed her good form with a 6-1 6-4 win over Czech Katerina Siniakova on Rod Laver Arena.

Showcasing her great athleticism and improving skills at the net, Gauff raced through the opening set in 22 minutes, before Siniakova found her range with the forehand to put up a fight in the second.

Jessica Pegula in action at the Australian Open
Jessica Pegula in action at the Australian Open. Photo credit: Getty Images

Seventh seed Gauff, 18, had to come back from a break down in the second set and faced three breakpoints, as she served for the match, but was happy with her performance.

"I'm really pleased with myself," she said. "Katerina's a fighter and we saw that today.

"We had some excellent points in the last game, but I think I just stayed mentally there."

Seeded third behind Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur, Pegula hit her stride early in the new season by helping the United States win the inaugural United Cup and took less than an hour to see off Romanian Jaqueline Cristian 6-0 6-1.

The 2020 ASB Classic runner-up simply overpowered her opponent and loud cheers emanated from the Margaret Court Arena crowd, when Cristian held serve in the second set to avoid the dreaded 'double bagel'.

"Today's just one of those days, everything's working," said Pegula, who will next play Brenda Fruhvirtova or Aliaksandra Sasnovich. "I think you just take them as they come throughout the year and I'll just enjoy it.

"It's definitely fun coming in as a top seed, it's a new experience for me."

Seeded 28th, Amanda Anisimova was unable to continue the good start for American women at the first Grand Slam since Serena Williams hung up her racket, tumbling out 6-3 6-4 to Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk.

With champion Ash Barty and Williams both retired, and twice champion Naomi Osaka pregnant with her first child, Melbourne Park will almost certainly crown a first-time women's champion this year.

Two former US Open champions also had convincing wins, as they try to build on their Grand Slam success.

Canadian Bianca Andreescu, the 2020 winner at Flushing Meadows, beat Czech Marie Bouzkova 6-2 6-4, while reigning champion Emma Raducanu made light work of German Tamara Korpatsch in a 6-3 6-2 victory to book a meeting with Gauff in the next stage.

Italian 15th seed Jannik Sinner, a quarter-finalist last year, was the first man to reach the second round, rolling over Briton Kyle Edmund 6-4 6-0 6-2 on John Cain Arena.

Top seeds Swiatek and Rafa Nadal open their campaigns in the evening session at Melbourne Park.