Sakkari, who will face Russian Elina Avanesyan within the second spherical, endured a troublesome 2023 with early exits in any respect 4 majors, her greatest consequence at a Grand Slam coming in Melbourne the place she reached the third spherical.
However she managed to squash any nerves with a dominant efficiency towards Hibino, cruising to victory with out dropping a degree on her first serve within the second set.
“You are all the time nervous, you need to carry out effectively. While you’re a high seed you are all the time going to play gamers who do effectively towards you. It was a troublesome match right this moment emotionally however I am completely satisfied I managed to do the job proper and play a great second set,” she stated.
Sakkari has now received her first 4 matches of the 12 months for the primary time since 2021 after she secured three victories for her nation on the United Cup.
In the meantime, American Amanda Anisimova earned a powerful 6-3 6-4 win over thirteenth seed Liudmila Samsonova in her first Grand Slam since taking a seven-month break for her psychological well being.
The 2019 French Open semi-finalist stated she felt “much more refreshed” and was now having fun with her tennis once more.
France’s Alize Cornet fell within the first spherical, shedding 6-2 6-4 to qualifier Maria Timofeeva, whereas Czech ninth seed Barbora Krejcikova got here from behind to beat Japan’s Mai Hontama 2-6 6-4 6-3 and can subsequent face Germany’s Tamara Korpatsch, who knocked out Briton Jodie Burrage on day one.
The Australian Open has been prolonged to fifteen days this 12 months in an try to keep away from late finishes – with this its first Sunday begin.