Konta, the No. 9 seed, first made her mark at Melbourne Park in 2016 when she reached the semifinals, and a year ago she made the quarterfinals.
She celebrated by twirling, waving and blowing kisses to the crowd.
"It feels so great to be back here, there is no better place for me to start after six months of injury than here in Australia", Djokovic said courtside, as quoted by the Guardian. "I'm just really happy to be back here".
That was her only hold though as Sharapova won the next five games to take the first set 6-1.
Her ranking slid into the 20s in 2017, but she's coming back into the kind of form which makes her a title contender.
"I saw that some of you have written a story that has been a bit exaggerated and you've taken things out of context and you've portrayed me as someone who is very greedy and asked for more money and asked for a boycott", Djokovic said. I think today she played well. I have expectations because of my previous results in my career, and I know at what level I can play.
1 Novak Djokovic put the tennis world on notice Tuesday with a dominating 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory over American Donald Young in the first round of the 2018 Australian Open.
Djokovic, the six-time Australian Open champion, cut an emotional figure after the game, embracing the crowd for their support and revealed that the long lay-off was a hard period for him as he had never been out for more than two months in his career.
"I was waking up this morning, I say, OK the "2" is gone right now", Kerber said, smiling. I never missed a grand slam.
The Swiss, though, prevailed in a tough 4 set win over Recardis Berankis 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6.
No. 13 Sam Querrey restored some order for the USA men with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Feliciano Lopez, advancing to the second round. Two other US contenders, No. 8 Jack Sock and No. 16 John Isner, were among the first-round casualties Monday.
The 13th-seeded Querrey was one of 10 American players - men and women - to reach the second round from the 32 who started the main draws, the lowest number of Americans through to the second round in Melbourne since 2011.
No 17-seeded Keys, the runner-up at the US Open, had a 6-1, 7-5 win over Wang Qiang.
Thiem raced through the first two sets, 6-3; 6-3 and led 3-1 in the second. The US women had three wins and 14 losses in round one.
"I was thinking a lot about what happened at the tournament last year because it was my favourite tournament of the whole season", said the 36-year-old, who beat Rafael Nadal in the 2017 final.