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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 January, 2005, 12:52 GMT
Home hope Hewitt sees off Clement
Lleyton Hewitt
Third seed Lleyton Hewitt cruised into the second round of the Australian Open thanks to a 6-3 6-4 6-1 victory over Frenchman Arnaud Clement.

The Australian broke once in each of the opening two sets before breaking three times in the third to seal the win in under two hours.

It is the third time Clement has lost to the world number three this month and the seventh overall.

Hewitt will now take on American James Blake in the next round.

Andy Roddick thrashed Irakli Labadze of Georgia to set up a second-round meeting with Greg Rusedski.

The world number two was rarely required to get out of second gear against Labadze as he powered his way to a 7-5 6-2 6-1 victory.

Roddick hit a modest 11 aces as he wrapped up the victory in just an hour and a half.

After the match, Roddick shed some light on his surprise off-season split with coach Brad Gilbert.

"I had plateaued a little bit at the end of last year and definitely needed to get a fresh start," said Roddick.

"I think Brad and I did a great job, and we worked very well together for a year and a half. I just decided it was time to go in a new direction.

"The last six months or so, I had stopped kind of improving. And that's something I definitely wanted to work on."

Sixth seed Guillermo Coria swept past the highly-rated Tomas Berdych in the opening match on the Rod Laver Arena.

Coria might have been expected to struggle against the 19-year-old Czech, who was the last man to beat Roger Federer back in August.

But the Argentine stormed through 6-2 6-4 6-0 and faces Ricardo Mello in round two.

Another Argentine, 12th seed Guillermo Canas, defeated Chris Guccione of Australia 6-4 6-2 7-6 (7-4), while French 14th seed Sebastien Grosjean beat compatriot Michael Llodra 6-3 6-4 6-3.

Chile's 23rd seed Fernando Gonzalez, winner of the Auckland title last week, came through an epic encounter with Argentine Jose Acasuso.

Gonzalez looked to be on his way out at two sets down but fought back for a 3-6 3-6 6-3 6-3 7-5 win and a clash with the equally hard-hitting Igor Andreev.

Spain's Rafael Nadal had a much simpler passage into round two, thrashing Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-0 6-4 6-2.

Fifteenth seed Mikhail Youzhny, Andrei Pavel and Fernando Verdasco were other early winners.



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