Roger Federer content after straightforward victory at the Australian Open
Straight sets victory for former champion
Tuesday 15 January 2013
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.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
Luis Suarez: Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies from spine injury after doing somersault celebration
West Brom vs Manchester United: Latest score and Twitter updates, with Stephane Sessegnon, Marouane Fellaini, Saido Berahino and Daley Blind on target
Arsenal vs Hull: Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan lead criticism of Arsene Wenger after 'uncomfortable' interview with Jacqui Oatley
Adel Taraabt criticism from QPR boss Harry Redknapp sparked by player walking out of team meeting prior to Liverpool game
- 3 Are you ready for Crazy Doritos, the red-hot snack food craze sweeping Mexico’s streets?
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage