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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 January 2006, 01:37 GMT
Federer begins campaign in style
Roger Federer
Roger Federer had little trouble with wild card Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan as he opened his Australian Open campaign with a straight-sets win.

Istomin was playing not only his first Grand Slam match but his first in any ATP event and the gulf in class showed.

Federer had far too much power and speed from the baseline and rarely had to venture forward on his way to a 6-2 6-3 6-2 victory.

The top seed will now face Germany's Florian Mayer in the second round.

"I thought it was not easy today because he was serving big, taking a lot of chances on my return," said Federer.

"So we didn't see too many rallies, which didn't really allow me to get the rhythm going.

"I won comfortably. That's what counts most."

Elsewhere, sixth seed Guillermo Coria overcame a leg injury to see off Victor Hanescu in five sets.

There were 22 breaks of serve and a total of 101 unforced errors in a three-and-a-half-hour match that could have gone either way.

The Argentine required treatment after the fourth set but fought on for a 6-4 1-6 4-6 6-2 6-1 victory.  Coria will meet Italian Federico Luzzi in the second round.

Fifth-seeded Russian Nikolay Davydenko needed five sets to beat Croatian giant Ivo Karlovic 7-5 4-6 3-6 7-5 6-3.

Dominik Hrbaty, the 12th seed from Slovakia, also came through a tight match, beating Austria's Oliver Marach 3-6 4-6 6-2 6-1 6-3.

Former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain, who is ranked 15th in Melbourne, eased through with a 7-5 6-0 6-2 victory over Czech Tomas Zib.

It was a bad day for rising French stars Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet as both were sent packing in the first round.

Monfils, 19, was a surprise loser early on day two, going down 6-4 7-5 6-1 to Peru's Luis Horna.

The 22nd seed was struggling physically and was attended to by the trainer at one stage but to no avail.

Gasquet, seeded 14, has had a poor start to 2006 and was unfortunate to be drawn against the in-form Tommy Haas, who impressed in a 6-2 7-5 6-2 win that suggests he might be a challenger over the next fortnight.

Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan failed to take advantage of two match points as he lost to German 21st seed Nicolas Kiefer in a five-set marathon.

The 50th-ranked Paradorn led two sets to love but ended up losing 6-7 (5-7), 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 6-2, despite Kiefer needing painkillers at the start of the fourth set for an ankle injury.

Round-up: Australian Open day two

Interview: Roger Federer


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