No tears for Federer this time
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP):
The last time Roger Federer played at Rod Laver Arena, he left in tears after losing the 2009 Australian Open final to Rafael Nadal.
There were no such waterworks yesterday, just a few tense moments for the Swiss star seeking his 16th Grand Slam title in a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (2), 6-0 first-round win over Igor Andreev of Russia.
Federer lost the first set after leading by a break, then saved three set points in the 12th game of the third set before winning the tie-breaker and totally dominating the fourth set.
"I did know it was going to be tough, we played five sets in New York two years back and I really had to adjust my game to beat him," Federer said of Andreev. "I think I definitely got lucky to get out of that one. It was a fortunate third set today. I prefer easier matches, but this worked as well."
Top-ranked Serena Williams, the defending women's champion, had an easy first-rounder, beating Urszula Radwanska of Poland 6-2, 6-1. Her sister, sixth-seeded Venus, also advanced easily, beating Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-2.
Third-seeded Novak Djokovic beat Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 in a night match.
Hometown favourite Lleyton Hewitt, still trying to win his first Australian Open after losing in the 2005 final to Marat Safin, opened with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 win over qualifier Ricardo Hocevar of Brazil.
Serena Williams' record in the first round of the 'Slams' is even more impressive than Federer's - she has never lost an opener.
"I was a little nervous today because that's always on the back of my mind," Williams said. "Records are meant to be broken. This one means a lot to me ... just to have an opportunity to have not lost yet in the first round of a Grand Slam - knock on wood - is really good for me."