Novak Djokovic hopeful of better health after thrashing Aljaz Bedene

• Serb beat Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in Australian Open first round
• Djokovic: it hasn’t been ideal in terms of health and preparation
• Andy Murray left as sole Brit in draw as compatriots tumble out

Even as he confirms his status as favourite for the 2015 Australian Open, Novak Djokovic continues to dance around the issue of his health. It was a curious spectacle, watching the world No1 hit the ball with much of his old assurance in dismissing the challenge of would-be British citizen Aljaz Bedene in the first round yet answer queries about a virus he picked up in Abu Dhabi as if he had leprosy.

“They’re fading away,” he said reluctantly of the flu-like symptoms that have dogged him the past fortnight. If they are not disappearing, however, he might be in trouble in the second round on Thursday, when he meets the accomplished 23-year-old Russian Andrey Kuznetsov.

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