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Osaka and Serena through to Aus Open 2nd round

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Much work has gone into ensuring the first tennis grand slam of the year goes ahead.

And the Australian Open is finally underway with players, officials and 30,000 fans in Melbourne for day one.

Extra precautions were in place inside the venue for those spectators lucky enough to be watching on the main showcourts.

Serena Williams opened her bid for that elusive record-equalling 24th major title with a comfortable straight sets win over Laura Siegemund, dropping just 2 games in the process.

Williams has been nursing a shoulder injury in the build-up, but still made it off court in time catch the end of the Super Bowl and praised fellow American Tom Brady in her post-match news conference.

"It's unbelievable, I just was watching (the Super Bowl) as much as I could to see. My only word is it's unbelievable. I kept saying this is unbelievable. This is unreal. You can't say it was the system he was at formerly. It's definitely Tom Brady, he's Tom Brady. He's amazing."

Another former Australian Open champion safely through to round 2 is Naomi Osaka.

She made light work of her opponent Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in just over an hour.

Fans watching on Rod Laver Arena weren’t required to wear masks and Osaka was pleased to have them there.

“I just wanted to play well. Thank you everyone for coming. I'm just really happy to see people in these stands, it's been a bit lonely in New York, so yeah, thank you guys."

Organizers have several safety checks in operation for the two-week event.

More than 800 hand sanitizer dispensers have also been installed together with QR code checks, click and collect food and drink orders and daily deep cleaning.