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Roger Federer back to his best in Australian Open victory


Roger Federer showed no sign of back trouble as he cruised into the second round of the Australian Open today with a 7-5 6-2 6-2 victory over qualifier Alexander Kudryavtsev.

The 30-year-old Swiss, who withdrew during the leadup Qatar Open after suffering back pain, was at his clinical best, blasting winners from all angles as he wrapped up the match in 98 minutes at Rod Laver Arena.

The 2010 champion, bidding to extend his men's record to 17th grand slam, traded baselines punches with his 172nd-ranked opponent early before landing a sublime backhand winner down the line to seal the first set and seize the initiative.

Kudryavtsev drew a rare scowl from Federer, however, when he won a furious baseline skirmish to break the Swiss's serve and claw back to 3-2 in the third set.

But the 26-year-old rued clipping a net cord in the next game that set up an easy backhand winner that allowed Federer to break back and cruise to victory.