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Page last updated at 06:38 GMT, Monday, 17 January 2011

Roger Federer breezes into round two at Australian Open

Australian Open, Melbourne
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 17-30 January
Coverage: Watch on BBC TV, Red Button, BBC Sport website (UK only) & Eurosport; listen on BBC 5 live sports extra and online; text commentary online; full details

Roger Federer
Federer is hoping to pick up his 17th Grand Slam title

Roger Federer gave a masterful display to begin his Australian Open title defence with a 6-1 6-1 6-3 win over unseeded Slovakian Lukas Lacko.

The world number two, eyeing a 17th Grand Slam title, will play Frenchman Gilles Simon next.

Third seed Novak Djokovic was similarly untroubled as he disposed of Spain's Marcel Granollers 6-1-6-3 6-1.

Tomas Berdych and Andy Roddick won comfortably, but there were defeats for Sam Querrey and Nikolay Davydenko.

World number one Rafael Nadal takes on Brazilian Marcos Daniel in the first round on Tuesday.

Nadal, who won the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open in 2010, is attempting to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win four majors in a row.

2008 Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic

Djokovic cruises through opening match

If Federer does not win the title, it will be the first time since 2003 that he has not held at least one Grand Slam trophy.

But the Swiss has started the year in ominous form, winning the Qatar Open without conceding a set, and tore into Lacko from the outset.

Federer claimed the first point of the match with a superb backhand drop volley and the winners flowed from then on.

He broke serve in game four with a forehand down the line, moved 5-1 ahead when Lacko put a forehand wide and served out with a backhand winner.

Federer was no less dominant at the start of the second set, breaking his 97th-ranked opponent in games one and three.

Lacko hit back when a Hawkeye challenge showed Federer had fired just long, but the second seed reasserted his authority in game five and broke again in game seven for a 2-0 lead.

The third set was a more even contest until Federer turned the screw with a volleyed winner to break for 5-3, and then served out to secure his place in round two.

"(Rank) one and two are both very good - one is better than two but they still put me on Rod Laver Arena, so I'm not complaining at all," said Federer, who finished 2010 on a high after lifting the ATP World Tour Finals title.

"I'm really enjoying myself, playing extremely well at the moment and the last six months have been fantastic. I'm very happy how things are going and I will see how far I can go in the tournament.

"I thought it was a good match. I don't think he played too bad himself. I saw some talent in him and that's why I was really happy I chose the tactic early on to pressure him.

"That it worked was great and I'm obviously very happy."

Former world number seven Simon recovered from the loss of the opening set against Taipei's Lu Yen-Hsun to win 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 6-4 6-2.

The 26-year-old, now ranked 34, has beaten Federer on their only two previous meetings.


Serbia's Djokovic, whose 2008 win in Melbourne is one of only two Grand Slam titles to have eluded Federer and Nadal over the past five seasons, issued an impressive statement of intent.

The 23-year-old penned back Granollers with a succession of powerful groundstrokes and advanced to a second-round meeting with either Ivo Karlovic or Ivan Dodig in a little over an hour and a half.

"Definitely this performance gives me more confidence and gives me enough reason to think that I can beat anyone," he said.

Elsewhere, sixth seed Berdych was a 6-4 6-0 6-2 victor over Marco Crugnola while eighth seed Roddick thrashed Jan Hajek 6-1 6-2 6-2.

Roddick has reached the Melbourne Park semi-finals four times, but is yet to contest the championship match.

The 2003 US Open winner has lost three Wimbledon finals and a US Open final, finishing inside the top 10 every year since 2002.

Ninth seed Fernando Verdasco made short work of Germany's Rainer Scheuttler as the Spaniard advanced with a 6-1 6-3 6-2 win to set up an interesting meeting with Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia in the next round.

Meanwhile, French 12th seed Gael Monfils recovered from two sets behind to beat Thiemo De Bakker in a gruelling five-setter.

Monfils began confidently but fell into a slump before fighting back to prevail 6-7 (5-7) 2-6 7-5 6-2 6-1 in three hours 38 minutes.

De Bakker was broken when serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set and his game fell away after he left the court for an injury timeout early in the fourth.

The 46th-ranked Dutchman later wrote on his Twitter page that he suffered a groin problem at 4-1 in the third set.

"I think it's the first time I've come back from two sets down and even a break, so it's a great win and I'm happy with that," said Monfils.

"I just tried to make him struggle and make him earn the win. I think he got tight and then started to struggle physically.

"And when you find the solution you have to dive on it."

Russian 23rd seed Davydenko - a four-time quarter-finalist - fell to German Florian Mayer with a surprise 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 defeat.

Querrey was another seeded casualty, the 18th seed losing 5-7 6-2 3-6 6-1 8-6 to Poland's Lukas Kubot.

His fellow American Mardy Fish also looked to be heading out, only to battle from two sets behind to see off Romania's Victor Hanescu 2-6 4-6 6-3 7-5 6-3.

Highly-rated 19-year-old Grigor Dimitrov, who came through qualifying, won his first Grand Slam match with a 6-1 6-4 6-2 victory over Andrey Golubev.

Dimitrov next plays 19th seed Stanislas Wawrinka after the Swiss beat Teymuraz Gabashvili in straight sets.

Richard Gasquet will take on fellow Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in the next round after routine wins over Frank Dancevic and Ryan Harrison respectively.

Viktor Troiki proved too strong for Russia's Dmitry Tursunov as Argentine 26th seed Juan Monaco won two tie-breaks in overcoming some stubborn resistance from Germany's Simon Gruel.

Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic saw off Australian Peter Luczak 6-3 6-3 7-6 (7-2), while Spanish seeds Nicolas Almagro and Albert Montanes also successfully negotiated their first matches of the tournament.

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see also
Australian Open photos
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Wozniacki wins Melbourne opener
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Federer 'can win 20 Grand Slams'
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Mental strength gives Murray hope
17 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Nadal & Federer eye Aussie battle
16 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Men's singles latest
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Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Federer ends Murray's Slam dream
31 Jan 10 |  Tennis

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