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Serbs advance in Melbourne

January 19, 2009 14:33 IST

Super Serbs Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and Novak Djokovic locked in their second round Australian Open spots on Monday as Andy Roddick routed a sacrificial Swede on Day One of the year's first grand slam.

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.

"I made too many unforced errors. He stepped it up, but it's good that I won in straight sets."

Swede Bjorn Rehnquist, making his third grand slam appearance, may think twice before attempting to qualify again after the pummeling 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, you know, I'll have to be ready," Roddick said.

"He's been in the semis of a grand slam before. I think his track record speaks for how dangerous he can be."

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

"A match like that, you got to go out and beat somebody. He's gonna put the ball in the court. He's probably not gonna do much to kind of blow you off the court.

"But you got to go and execute. I was able to do that today. You know, it was a good start."

Russian seventh seed Vera Zvonareva also made a good start, ousting Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova 7-6, 6-0.

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

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

"You know, the soles of my shoes got so hot. Probably you have seen in the changeovers I was putting my feet on ice, you know, 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 traveling. Before, when I was young player I couldn't enjoy the tour," the former world number for grinned.

Roger Federer begins his quest for a record-equalling 14th grand slam singles crown in the night session when he meets Italian Andreas Seppi under floodlights.

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