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Last Updated: Monday, 17 January, 2005, 13:12 GMT
Federer opens with crushing win
Roger Federer
Defending champion Roger Federer showed why he is an overwhelming favourite for the Australian Open with a crushing win over Fabrice Santoro on Monday.

The world number one, who has not lost a match since the Olympics, won 6-1 6-1 6-2 to set up a tie with Takao Suzuki.

Fourth seed Marat Safin, who was beaten by Federer in last year's final, took just 74 minutes to beat Serb qualifier Novak Djokovic 6-0 6-2 6-1.

It was the Russian's most convincing Grand Slam first-round win.

"I am trying to spend as little time on the court as possible as you never know when you are going to have to end up playing more," said Safin.

"Basically it's better to be fresh."

Federer admitted he was "quite nervous" before his match with Santoro.

"But I started fantastically," he added. "I think I won the first 12 points, and once I'd won the first five games I was OK."

In other matches, seeds Dominik Hrbaty, Ivan Ljubicic and Mario Ancic made comfortable progress, but former French Open champion Albert Costa lost to Bjorn Phau.





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