Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki's bid to retain her Australian Open crown began with a convincing 6-3, 6-4 win over Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium on Monday.

The third seed won her maiden Slam at Melbourne Park last year and is bidding to become the first woman to defend the title since Victoria Azarenka in 2013.

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The Dane comfortably eased past world number 52 Van Uytvanck, showing no outward sign of rheumatoid arthritis, the debilitating auto-immune disease that has threatened to derail her career.

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