The 32-year-old Briton missed the Australian Open due to a pelvic injury sustained at the Davis Cup Finals in November and then pulled out of tournaments at Montpellier and Rotterdam.
Nobody beats Novak Djokovic at this stage of the Australian Open. At least, not until now. Djokovic is a seven-time champion at Melbourne Park, where he has never lost a final or semifinal he has contested.
Dominic Thiem is in rather fine form at the moment, with three consecutive wins over top-10 opponents, including No 1 Nadal in the quarterfinals and, now, Alexander Zverev.
Ivanisevic, a serve-and-volley specialist from Croatia, won the 2001 title at the All England Club as a wild-card entry while Martinez, a baseliner from Spain, was the 1994 champion at Wimbledon.
The 38-year-old swatted aside Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to race into the second round, kickstarting his bid for a 21st Grand Slam title in immaculate style.
David Goffin claims an upset 6-4 7-6 (3) victory over world number one Rafael Nadal in Sydney to keep Belgium alive in their quarter-final clash at the inaugural ATP Cup team event.
Svetlana Kuznetsova pulled out of Auckland Classic due to a viral illness, while Jelena Ostapenko withdrew for "personal reasons."
The top-ranked Nadal won all of his eight matches at the revamped competition that debuted a World Cup-style format.
The underwhelming performance of the reigning champions will most likely require them to beat Rafael Nadal's Spain to stand a chance of reaching the knock out phase.
The 32-year-old Serbian tennis star avenged his loss to the 21-year-old Greek 3 weeks earlier in the Shanghai Masters, with a 58-minute victory.
Meanwhile, world number one Novak Djokovic defeated Britain’s Kyle Edmund with 7-6(7) 6-1 to reach the Paris Masters quarter finals.
Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the WTA Finals because of a right shoulder injury ahead of her scheduled round-robin match against top-ranked Ash Barty.
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