Melbourne, 6 December 2011 | James Hunter-Smith

Swift left-hander John-Patrick Smith cruised into the second round of the Australian Open 2012 Play-off today after defeating Maverick Banes 6-1 6-3.

After dropping his opening service game, Smith won the next eight straight to set up his convincing straight-sets victory.

It was the first meeting between the two Queenslanders in near perfect conditions at Melbourne Park with no elements to combat.

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Smith said he was pleased with how he hit the ball and felt his mobility was a major factor.

“I had a loose first game but after that I really established myself from the baseline and moved well, so it was a good day today,” he said.

“I tried to make sure I made a lot of balls, especially when [Banes] was really going for it, just to make him try and hit that second and third ball and it really helped towards the end.”

Banes started the match strongly and broke his opponent in the opening game, but his early lead quickly became a distant memory.

Some deep groundstrokes allowed Smith to attack from the net saw him take complete control of the first set. The 22-year-old broke back in the second game and promptly held serve to take a 2-1 lead.

Banes used his driving forehand to try and combat Smith’s surge but was denied any real momentum or rhythm as Smith continually changed the pace of the ball.

Banes had a chance to break back and stay in the set with an advantage in the fourth game, but three monster serves from Smith down the middle saw him take a 4-1 lead.

Smith continued to dictate play from the baseline, keeping his younger opponent on his toes and frantically scrambling from either sideline.

Nerves became a factor as a rattled Banes committed a crucial double fault on break point in the fifth game, allowing Smith to capitalise and serve out the first set 6-1.

The momentary break between sets did no favours to Banes who committed four unforced errors in his opening service game of the second set, including a wide forehand and two double faults.

But the 19-year-old Queenslander kept fighting and refused to hold back on his shots. Aggressive play up the court saw him save two break points in the third game to keep the match alive.

A rare lapse of concentration saw Smith leave lob untouched thinking it would sail long when it landed a foot inside the court, but the slight mishap didn’t phase him.

Smith continued to mix up the pace with an array of flat and sliced groundstrokes while using his physical first serve to keep on the front foot. With a 5-1 lead and a ton of confidence, he broke Banes yet again and took out the second set 6-3 in convincing fashion.

Smith faces a huge challenge in his second-round clash tomorrow against fourth seed and fellow left-hander Chris Guccione.

Despite the daunting task, Smith remains upbeat and is relishing the opportunity.

“It’s going to be a great honour to play [Guccione],” he said.

“He’s represented Australia a couple of times and it’s not every day you get to play someone of that calibre.

“He’s a lefty with a big serve, so it’s going to be really tough to break him.”