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Page last updated at 20:15 GMT, Monday, 24 May 2010 21:15 UK

Roger Federer sees off Peter Luczak at French Open

Roger Federer

Highlights - Federer sees off Luczak in first round (UK users only)

Roger Federer began the defence of his French Open title with a 6-4 6-1 6-2 victory over Australia's Peter Luczak.

The world number one conceded just two points on serve before breaking in game 10 to take the first set.

He then raced through the second against his 71st-ranked opponent and was similarly comfortable in the third.

Third seed Novak Djokovic dropped a set against Kazakhstan's Evgeny Korolev but came through strongly to reach round two with a 6-1 3-6 6-1 6-3 win.

Next up for Djokovic is Kei Nishikori after the 20-year-old from Japan marked his French Open debut with a 2-6 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 6-4 victory over Colombia's Santiago Giraldo in three hours and 36 minutes.

It was the first win on the main tour since February 2009 for Florida-based Nishikori, who missed 11 months with a fractured elbow and saw his ranking slump from 56 to 246.

Djokovic looked to be cruising through after racing into a set and a break lead, but he lost six of the next seven games as Korolev went for broke with a series of unstoppable forehand winners.

The 2008 Australian Open champion regained control by going 5-0 up in the third set and the 23-year-old was similarly dominant in the fourth, breaking serve for the seventh time in the match to seal victory.

The beginning is always important, coming back as defending champion and trying to get off to a good start, so it was a perfect match to start the French Open

Roger Federer

Federer, who completed a career Grand Slam by winning his first French Open crown in 2009, will go into his second round meeting with Alejandro Falla buoyed by a comfortable opening-round win.

The Swiss legend has reached at least the semi-finals of every Grand Slam event since the 2004 French Open and he got going with three straight love service games.

Luczak worked hard to stick with his more esteemed opponent, but Federer turned the screw in game 10 and the set might have been his when the Australian seemed to push a second serve wide - only for the umpire to call it good.

Federer strongly questioned the decision but Luczak succumbed with a double fault and, after saving a break point in game three of the second set, the 16-time Grand Slam champion never looked back.

Breaks of serve in games four and six helped him ease through the second set and with another break at 2-2 in the third, the plucky Lucsak finally looked a beaten man.

Federer, who committed only 11 unforced errors and lost just 14 of 64 points on his serve, broke again in game six before finishing on serve with a razor-sharp backhand winner.

"The beginning is always important, coming back as defending champion and trying to get off to a good start," said Federer.

606: DEBATE

"It was a good first set for me, without any hiccups on my own serve. After that things were a bit easier. He had to push it a bit more. I could relax and towards the end I played some great dropshots.

"So it was a perfect match to start the French Open."

Luczak added: "If it was anyone else, I'd be getting pretty angry. He just had me on a string and just was toying with me at the end. I think he was enjoying it."

Federer will be joined in round two by compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka, seeded 20th, after he beat Jan Hajek 6-1 6-3 6-3.

Ivan Ljubicic, Tomas Berdych, John Isner and Marcos Baghdatis were other seeds to progress in straight sets, while 12th seed Fernando Gonzalez overcame Brazil's Thiago Alves 6-2 4-6 6-4 6-4.

But Spanish 21st seed Tommy Robredo was beaten 6-4 6-4 6-3 by Serbia's Viktor Troicki and his compatriot Feliciano Lopez (27) also made an early exit, beaten 6-1 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 by Germany's Julian Reister.

Late in the day Victor Hanescu (31) and Nicolas Almagro (19), who required five sets to edge past Robin Haase, made it through to round two.

Out on Court 17, meanwhile, Slovakia's Lukas Lacko beat American qualifier Michael Yani 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (5-7) 12-10 in an epic that equalled the record for the most games in a French Open match since tie-breaks were instituted in 1973.

Florian Mayer of Germany was forced to withdraw before his first round match against French 13th seed Gael Monfils with an intestinal virus.

Mayer, who has never got beyond the second round at Roland Garros, was replaced in the main draw by compatriot Dieter Kindlmann but he succumbed 6-3 7-5 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 to home hope Monfils.



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see also
French Open day two as it happened
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French Open photos
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Baltacha makes early French exit
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Grand slam men's singles latest
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Grand slam women's singles latest
21 May 10 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis


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