Federer rolls in Australian Open opener

Jan. 15, 2008 at 9:07 AM
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MELBOURNE, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- World No. 1 Roger Federer rolled through his first-round match Tuesday in his attempt to win a third consecutive Australian Open.

Federer piled up seven service breaks in a 6-0, 6-3, 6-0 rout of Diego Hartfield. Federer needed just 74 minutes to complete the victory, his 15th consecutive at the Australian Open.

He next goes against Fabrice Santoro, the 36th-ranked player in the world. Santoro was also a straight-set winner Tuesday, stopping John Isner 6-2, 6-2, 6-4.

Quick matches were the order of the day for the higher-seeded players with third-seeded Novak Djokovic defeating Benjamin Becker 6-0, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5); fifth-seeded David Ferrer stopping Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 6-2, 6-1; No. 7-seeded Fernando Gonzalez topping Konstantinos Economidis 6-4, 7-6 (7-2), 6-1; and 10th-seeded David Nalbandian taking out Robert Smeets 6-1, 6-1, 7-6 (7-3).

In the second tier of seeded players, 12th-seeded James Blake beat Nicolas Massu 6-3, 6-2, 6-2; No. 13 Tomas Berdych eliminated Werner Eschauer 6-4, 6-4, 6-4; 15th-seeded Marcos Baghdatis took a 7-6 (7-0), 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 decision from Thomas Johansson and 19th-seeded Lleyton Hewitt beat Steve Darcis 6-0, 6-3, 6-0.

But 17th-seeded Ivan Ljubicic was ousted by Robert Haase 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-0 7-6 (7-1). Other slight upsets came in 27th-seeded Nicolas Almagro falling 7-6 (7-4), 7-5, 6-2 to Marin Cilic and 30th-seeded Radek Stepanek losing a two-set lead and a 2-6, 2-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 decision to Vincent Spadea.

Also advancing Tuesday were 21st-seeded Juan Monaco, No. 22 Juan Carlos Ferrero, 25th-seeded Fernando Verdasco and 32nd-seeded Dmitry Tursunov.

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