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Serbian trio and Federer stamp their mark

January 19, 2009 20:25 IST

Serbia's tennis titans locked in their second round Australian Open spots on Monday while Andy Roddick scorched a sacrificial Swede and Roger Federer schmoozed his way through on Day One of the year's first Grand Slam.

Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and Novak Djokovic flew through early at Melbourne Park as did Roddick, who opened a few eyes with his brutal performance.

Federer was a delight under the stars, finessing his way to round two with a 6-1, 7-6, 7-5 win over Italy's Andreas Seppi.

"In the end I kind of ran away with the match," a relaxed Federer said courtside.

"I think I played well -- I had to, he's a great player," added the Swiss second seed who is chasing a record-equalling 14th Grand Slam title.

"I feel I know where my game is at right now."

World number one Jankovic muscled her way past Austria's Yvonne Meusburger 6-1, 6-3 at a sun-baked Melbourne Park while Ivanovic, runner-up here 12 months ago, squeaked past German Julia Goerges 7-5, 6-3 in a less-than-convincing performance.

"I don't expect myself to step on the court and play perfect tennis from very first moment," Ivanovic told reporters, putting on a brave face.

If the mark of a champion is to win when playing poorly, the former world number one could be stamping her name on the Open trophy in a little under two weeks' time.

Djokovic stamped his name on the trophy 12 months ago and opened his defence with a win over a spirited Andrea Stoppini 6-2, 6-3, 7-5.

"Try to look at it as a positive thing. It's a first round. Usually you try to get used to it a little bit, and hopefully the next round will be better," the third seed said after a patchy performance.


Swede Bjorn Rehnquist, making his third Grand Slam appearance, may think twice before attempting to qualify again after the pummelling the 31-year-old received at the hands of a ruthless Roddick.

The American seventh seed, Australian boys' champion in 2000, four years after Rehnquist had earned that accolade, smashed the Swede 6-0 6-2 6-2.

He will next face "the X-Man" Xavier Malisse after the Belgian beat France's Michael Llodra 7-6, 6-1, 6-1.

"Xavier is tough. He won pretty handily today. He's got matches behind him. I think everyone knows he's extremely capable when healthy. So I'll have to be ready," Roddick said.

Roddick's blockbuster performance on Monday illustrated how dangerous he can be.

"A match like that, ... you got to go and execute. I was able to do that today. It was a good start."

Local spirits were lifted by Bernard Tomic who made a spectacular Grand Slam entrance, becoming the youngest male ever in professional tennis to win a match at the Open.

The Gold Coast teenager sent local fans into a frenzy by mashing Potito Starace 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 7-6.

At 16 years and 89 days old, Tomic is 94 days younger than fellow Australian Todd Woodbridge was when he beat American John Letts in the opening round at Melbourne Park in 1988.


"It's a dream come true to win a first round in my first Grand Slam," the youngster said. "I'm just thrilled that I could pull off a win today. With the crowd behind me, it was an unbelievable experience."

Tomic next faces Luxembourg's Gilles Muller.

Jankovic was comfortable with her game after her victory although she had suffered a little with the heat.

"I feel fit and ready to play. Conditions are quite tough out there. It's very warm. One problem that I had was my feet were burning.

"The soles of my shoes got so hot. Probably you have seen in the changeovers I was putting my feet on ice, kind of trying to cool it down."

She tackles Belgian Kirsten Flipkens next.

Kimiko Date-Krumm's Grand Slam comeback after 12 years away ended in a narrow defeat, but while that result might have hurled a thrusting teenage would-be starlet into a hissy fit, nothing could extinguish the 38-year-old's brilliant smile after her 6-4, 4-6, 8-6 loss to 25th-seeded Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.

"Now I just enjoy to play tennis, just enjoy the travelling. Before, when I was young player I couldn't enjoy the tour," the former world number four grinned.

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