Reigning champion Bernard Tomic rekindled his love affair with Sydney on Tuesday night, steamrolling No.8 seed Marcel Granollers in front of his father John Tomic to claim his sixth consecutive victory at the Sydney International.
The Australian needed just 59 minutes to cruise to a 6-3, 6-0 victory and set up a second-round clash with Slovakian Blaz Kavcic, keeping alive his hopes of defending his title.
Tomic's father, who is serving a 12-month ban from ATP events after receiving a suspended sentence from a Spanish court for assaulting his son's practice partner Thomas Drouet in May last year, was granted an exemption to attend the Sydney International by tournament director Craig Watson.
He won't be allowed into Melbourne Park and wasn't allowed in the players' area during Tomic's first-round match, but the 21-year-old said it wouldn't stop him from going to his father for advice.
''Having my dad there is a very good feeling,'' he said. ''Obviously winning my first title here gives a lot of memories to me. I'm happy the way I played today. Having my dad there for the first time in a while, it's good. I know his ban will finish very soon, in a few months, and [he's] back to helping me. Obviously my dad is still there. He's the one that taught me to play like this. I spent hours with him that I probably won't spend with anyone in my life. He knows me the best.
''He's one of the reasons I am who I am today. Obviously my new coach is helping me out in a new way. But I still have got my dad on my side, which is very important to me … Melbourne is home for me now. Obviously he can't come in, but that's fine. I'll see him at home. If there is anything I need to hear, he'll tell me.''
Granollers was no match for the world No.51, who continues to play his best tennis on home soil with the burden of expectation and under the spotlight of a success-starved tennis nation in recent years.
It didn't begin well for Tomic after he was broken in the first game before fighting back to win 6-3. The second set took just 19 minutes with Tomic storming home to claim victory inside an hour.
At the Sydney International last year, Tomic predicted he would finish 2013 inside the top 10 but only managed to fall out of the top 50. However, the confident Queenslander insists he's on the road to big things. ''I have no goals, but I'm coming,'' he said. ''I'll get there. No goals, but I'll get there eventually. If I was 25 or 26 years old I'd probably feel like [last year was a disappointment]. But I just turned 21, so I think I'm at the right age.
''This is my first tournament for the year. I won it last year. I'm not looking at it to defend it. I'm looking at as obviously winning another title. If I start looking at defending the title I'll get nervous and I'm probably not going to defend it more than likely. I'm looking at this as a positive and trying to win here as best as I can, regardless of what I have to defend.''
Tomic will now play Kavcic, who knocked over 2012 champion Jarkko Nieminen 6-4, 6-3. ''I know a little bit about him,'' Tomic said. ''He's a good player and he obviously beat Jarkko, a defending champion here as well.''