Australian open: Federer, Murray cruise into second round

Azarenka through, Serene survives injury scare.


Afp January 15, 2013
There were no major upsets on the second day of the Australian Open as the big guns cruised into the next round. PHOTO: AFP

MELBOURNE: Leading contenders Roger Federer and Andy Murray were fast out of the blocks with straight-sets victories in their opening matches at the Australian Open yesterday.

Federer, the record 17-time Grand Slam champion and chasing his fifth Australian title, made light work of his first outing of 2013 with a three-set demolition of Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-4, 6-1.

“I’m very happy with the first round match, total control,” said Federer. “He can be a tricky opponent, but I guess his playing style doesn’t disturb me that much overall. I’m happy I was able to play a clean match out there today.”

Third-seed Murray was equally impressive in clinically dismantling Dutchman Robin Haase, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 to progress safely to the second round.

Tenis 01
There were no major upsets on the second day of the Australian Open as the big guns cruised into the next round. PHOTO: AFP

Much has changed in Murray’s life since his career-transforming victory over world number one Novak Djokovic in last year’s US Open final, and he is among the favourites at the year’s opening major tournament.

In other matches, Juan Martin Del Potro breezed past Adrian Mannarino 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 while 2008 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat compatriot Michael Llodra 6-4, 7-5, 6-2.  Local hope Bernard Tomic posted his ninth straight win of the year defeating Argentine Leonardo Mayer 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

Azarenka moves forward

In the women’s singles event, world number one Victoria Azarenka said she had to yell at herself to refocus and get with it as she shook off early season rust in a hard-fought Australian Open first round win.

The Belarusian top seed is defending a Grand Slam title for the first time and had to overcome some stiff second set defiance from Romania’s Monica Niculescu. She finally did what was required to go through 6-1, 6-4, but only after shouting at herself repeatedly at the baseline.

Tenis 02
There were no major upsets on the second day of the Australian Open as the big guns cruised into the next round. PHOTO: AFP

“It was to bring me back into competition,” she said. “I felt like I was letting go a few things that I shouldn’t. After that I just really had to pump myself up to get into that state of mind of competitiveness. From there, I got back and I started to do the right things again.”

Meanwhile, five-time champion Serena Williams shrugged off an ankle injury to sweep into the second round with victory over Romanian Edina Gallovits-Hall. In the first set, she landed heavily on her right ankle and went to ground, and needed extensive treatment. She returned to court with her ankle heavily restrapped and routed her opponent 6-0, 6-0, but was clearly in pain with her movement hindered.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2013.

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