Federer, Murray in cruise control at Aussie Open
By Robert Smith ,AFPMELBOURNE -- Leading contenders Roger Federer and Andy Murray were fast out of the blocks with straight-sets victories in their opening matches at the Australian Open on Tuesday.
January 16, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
Federer, the record 17-time Grand Slam champion and chasing his fifth Australian title, made light work of his first outing of 2013 with a three-set demolition of Frenchman Benoit Paire.
Third seed Murray was equally impressive in clinically dismantling Dutchman Robin Haase, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 to progress safely to the second round.
Elsewhere as temperatures climbed on the second day of the year-opening major, former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro breezed in the next round and 2008 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won an all-French contest in straight sets over Michael Llodra.
Second seed Federer showed few signs of rustiness in his first match of the year as he demolished the 46th-ranked Paire 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 in 1 hour and 23 minute on Rod Laver Arena.
The 31-year-old Swiss maestro gave Paire little respite with six service breaks, while his own serve was rock-solid with no breaks conceded.
There was little Paire could do to stop the cascade of winners off the racquet of Federer, who is bidding to become only the second man after Australia's Roy Emerson to win five Australian Open titles.
“I'm very happy with the first round match, total control,” Federer said.
“He can be a tricky opponent, but I guess his playing style doesn't disturb me that much overall.
“I'm happy I was able to play a clean match out there today.”