Roger Federer content after straightforward victory at the Australian Open

Straight sets victory for former champion

Roger Federer was relieved to have come through his first competitive match of 2013 after thrashing Benoit Paire in the opening round of the Australian Open today.

Federer opted to skip the usual warm-up tournaments and instead played a series of exhibition events in South America but hit the ground running in Melbourne with a 6-2 6-4 6-1 victory in which he was rarely troubled.

The Swiss followed fellow title contenders Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray in going through with all three looking in ominously good form at this early stage.

Djokovic beat Paul-Henri Mathieu yesterday while Murray opened the day two action with a 6-3 6-1 6-3 demolition of Dutchman Robin Haase.

Federer was equally impressive when he made his entrance and admitted to being pleased after safely negotiating the first hurdle.

He said: "Benoit's a good player, a good talent. I haven't played a match this season yet and you're not sure (how you're going to play). That's why you're relieved when you get through the first one.

"I've had a few busy years since I had kids. I just wanted to cool down a bit. It's nice to enjoy the off season. I hope it's the right decision, we'll see how it goes. I'm confident in my play."

Such was Federer's dominance he admitted he was able to experiment with certain aspects of his game.

"When you're in the lead you feel less pressure and you can try things to see if they work," he said.

"I'm obviously very happy, I felt in total control. He can be a tricky opponent but I guess his playing style doesn't disturb me that much overall."

Murray also felt he did a "pretty good job" on Haase as he moved through to a meeting with Portugal's Joao Sousa.

"It was a good start," he said. "It was very different conditions to what it's been like the last four, five days. The court was playing different, much livelier.

"But I thought I did a pretty good job from the start - dictating the points and not giving him too many freebies."

It was Murray's first grand slam match since he claimed his maiden major at the US Open last year - but he claimed he was still nervous beforehand.

"I don't think there is anyone who doesn't (get nervous)," he said.

"Nerves are a good thing. If you aren't nervous, it shows that you're really not that bothered.

"I started the year well in Brisbane but coming into the slams the first match is normally pretty tough.

"You just have to focus and play solid, not make too many silly mistakes.

"I did a good job of that today.

"It is always nice to get through the first round of any tournament but especially here."

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the runner-up here in 2008, is regarded as a threat to the 'big three', especially if can raise his game late in the second week, and he too looked good in seeing off French compatriot Michael Llodra 6-4 7-5 6-2.

The same applies to Argentinian Juan Martin Del Potro, who dropped just five games in beating French qualifier Adrian Mannarino.

Big-hitting Canadian Milos Raonic dropped the first set but hit back to beat Jan Hajek in four while there were also wins for ninth seed Richard Gasquet, 12th seed Marin Cilic, 17th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber and 21st seed Andreas Seppi.

In the late match, Bernard Tomic, the talented young Australian who claimed his first title in Sydney last week, proved far too strong for Leonardo Mayer, going through his full repertoire to win 6-3 6-2 6-3.

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
News
i100
Sport
Adel Taraabt in action for QPR against West Ham earlier this month
footballQPR boss says midfielder is 'not fit to play football'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album