The 37-year-old Swiss master made light of his assignment on Rod Laver Arena to wrap up the match 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 as he confidently began the defence of his title
Meanwhile, Ash Barty’s 2019 Australian Open got off to the best start possible, with the 15th seed making light work of her Thai opponent, Luksika Kumkhum.
Barty claimed the match, 6-2, 6-2.
The 22-year-old appeared shaky at first, losing the opening two games.
But Barty responded emphatically, winning six games straight to claim the first set, before going on to win the second on Margaret Court Arena.
Barty will play Yafan Wang in the second round.
The news, however, wasn’t so good for Bernard Tomic, who was sent packing in straight sets by sixth seed Marin Cilic.
The Croatian triumphed 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(7-3).
Cilic described the match as a “high quality” affair, despite the end result looking rather one-sided on paper.
Earlier there was good news for Barty as she now cannot face a seeded opponent until the fourth round, with No.22 Jelena Ostapenko losing to Greece’s Maria Sakkari. Sakkari will play Aussie Astra Sharma on Wednesday.
Australian Matt Ebden faces the tough proposition of Rafael Nadal in the second round.
Ebden came back from a set down to defeat Jan-Lennard Struff, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.
But now the Aussie must back up his performance against the Spaniard, who ousted James Duckworth in straight sets.
Meanwhile, the defending women’s champion Caroline Wozniacki progressed through in straight sets, defeating Alison Van Uytvanck, 6-3, 6-4.
NIGHT 1 ORDER OF PLAY
Rod Laver Arena (from 7pm)
3-Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) def Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL), 6-3, 6-4
3-Roger Federer (SUI) def Denis Istomin (UZB), 6-3, 6-4, 6-4
Margaret Court Arena (from 7pm)
15-Ashleigh Barty (AUS) def Luksika Kumkhum (THA), 6-2, 6-2
6-Marin Cilic (CRO) def Bernard Tomic (AUS), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6(7-3)
Melbourne Arena (from 6pm)
22-Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) def Andy Murray (GBR), 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5-7), 6-7(4-7), 6-2
8-Petra Kvitova (CZE) def Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK), 6-3, 6-2
1573 Arena (from 5pm)
Matthew Ebden (AUS) def Jan-Lennard Struff (GER), 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 ,6-4
- with AFP