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Is This The Tournament Where We Start Liking Kyrgios And Tomic?

We've got a nasty feeling this story is going to backfire somehow.

16/01/2017 3:46 PM AEDT | Updated 16/01/2017 5:46 PM AEDT

As the 2017 Australian Open tennis swings into action, it's worth remembering that Pat Rafter and Roger Federer were once wankers too.

Well they were. They were both bad tempered and unlikeable, and only started winning big tournaments when they grew the hell up. Andre Agassi to some extent, too.

We mention this because Bernard Tomic has just won his first round Australian Open match against Thomaz Bellucci, a Brazilian journeyman ranked 62 in the world who has never made it past the second round in Melbourne in nine attempts.

Tomic won 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. He won 39 of the 44 points when his first serve made it into court, which shows what a weapon his serve is. He also made just 20 unforced errors overall and hit 38 winners.

Bottom line, he was methodical, unhysterical and mature. Which many will say is not before time. Tomic next plays Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic, who is ranked 103 in the world.

Tomic, incidentally, is also playing his ninth Australian Open. Can you believe that? Little Bernie has grown up. He's 24 now. Perhaps the forces of Rafterisation and Federerisation are finally taking hold. It certainly seemed this way in the interview he gave on court immediately post-match.

"I know when you work hard and do the right things, good things come on the court," Tomic said of his heavy pre-Oz Open training regimen.

Meanwhile Nick Kyrgios, who starts his 2017 Australian Open campaign on Monday evening against Portuguese world number 81 Gastao Elias. Krygios has been in an upbeat mood so far in 2017, charming crowds in lead-up events in Sydney and Perth.

You feel like the 21-year-old Canberran is also on the verge of a massive outpouring of public love. And this is one time in tennis where love is a score you want to have. We'll know more Monday night.

Scott Barbour via Getty Images
Now if he could just stop playing Pokemon Go...

In other Australian Open news, unheralded 333-ranked 17-year-old Aussie Alex De Minaur beat world number 84 Gerald Melzer 5-7, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6, 6-1.

In the women's draw, 17-year-old Jamiee Fourlis, ranked 414 in world, upset American Anna Tatishvili 6-4, 6-3.

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