Tennis: Federer and Murray join Djokovic by cruising into second round of Australian Open
Published 15/01/2013 | 10:21
ROGER FEDERER and Andy Murray matched Novak Djokovic in delivering impressive first-round wins at the Australian Open.
Two-time defending champion Djokovic crushed Paul-Henri Mathieu yesterday to send a marker to his title rivals.
But Federer and Murray were equally as dominant this afternoon in straight-set wins over Benoit Paire and Robin Haase respectively.
Murray was first out on to Rod Laver Arena to crush Haase 6-3 6-1 6-3 and he was later followed on to the same court by four-time Melbourne winner Federer, who eased past Frenchman Paire 6-2 6-4 6-1 in his first match of 2013.
Federer 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."
The Swiss, who will next face either Israel's Dudi Sela or former world number three Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, hopes his decision to play no warm-up matches does not come back to haunt him.
"I've had a few busy years since I had kids," he said. "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."
World number three Murray claimed before his match with Haase that he was stepping into the unknown as he opened a grand slam tournament as a major winner for the first time following his success at the US Open in September.
But the early impressions are that he is quite comfortable with his newly-elevated status as he dispatched of a potentially dangerous opponent with ease.
"It was a good start and nice to win in straight sets," said Murray.
"It was the hottest day we have had for a while and the court was playing quicker so it's nice to get through."
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 17th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber and 21st seed Andreas Seppi.