Spain's David Ferrer, the No. 3 seed, got off to a solid start Monday at the Australian Open, cruising to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 first-round win over Colombia's Alejandro Gonzalez.

"I played well at some points in the match," Ferrer said of his initial outing at the year's first Grand Slam event.

"Each week is different. The last match I played was pretty bad, but it was just one match. Now, I'm at another tournament," the Spanish star said. "I have to be optimistic."

Ferrer also talked about the importance of winning in three sets.

"My game is very physical and I need energy for my next match, but the most important thing is to win. Perhaps I did not play my best tennis today, but I won," Ferrer said.

Ferrer will play France's Adrian Mannarino in the second round.

In other action at the Australian Open on Monday, Serbia's Novak Djokovic, who has won three straight championships in Melbourne, defeated Slovakia's Lukas Lacko 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1.

The Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych, the No. 7 seed, beat Kazakhstan's Aleksandr Nedovyesov 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, while Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka, the No. 8 seed, advanced to the second round after his opponent, Andrey Golubev, retired in the middle of the second set.

Germany's Tommy Haas made a quick exit from the Australian Open, retiring 19 games into his match with Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who was up 7-5, 5-2.

Russia's Mikhail Youzhny, Italy's Fabio Fognini, Spain's Tommy Robredo, South Africa's Kevin Anderson and Poland's Jerzy Janowicz were among the other winners of first-round matches.

On the women's side, American Serena Williams, the world No. 1, beat Australia's Ashleigh Barty 6-2, 6-1.

Williams will face Serbia's Vesna Dolonc in the second round.

China's Li Na, the No. 4 seed, crushed Croatia's Ana Konjuh 6-2, 6-0, while Russia's Ekaterina Makarova came back to beat American Venus Williams 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Samantha Stosur, the highest-ranked Australian women's player, beat the Czech Republic's Klara Zakopalova 6-3, 6-4, while Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens defeated Britain's Laura Robson 6-3, 6-0.

The Australian Open, which is played on hard courts, is the first of four Grand Slam events on the tennis calendar. EFE