Federer, Djokovic into second round of Australian Open

MELBOURNE: World number two Roger Federer kicked off his Australian Open campaign with a 6-1 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 victory over Italy''s Andreas Seppi.

Switzerland''s Federer wrapped up the first set in 24 minutes but was unconvincing thereafter, being forced to save a set point in the second set.

Reigning champion Novak Djokovic began his title defence with a 6-2 6-3 7-5 victory over Andrea Stoppini of Italy.

Three-time semi-finalist Andy Roddick beat Bjorn Rehnquist 6-0 6-2 6-2.

Federer, a three-time winner in Melbourne, was in imperious form as he took the opening set against Seppi, who had lost all three of his previous matches against the Swiss without winning a set.

But the second seed lost his way and had Seppi taken advantage of any of his 10 break points, Federer might have been held up longer than the two hours 20 minutes it took him to prevail.

The 27-year-old, chasing a record-equalling 14th Grand Slam title, will now play Russia''s Evgeny Korolev, who beat veteran Carlos Moya in straight sets.

Former champion Marat Safin, a possible third-round opponent for Federer, destroyed Ivan Navarro of Spain 6-3 6-3 6-4.

Earlier in the day, Djokovic managed to get through his first-round match in under two hours in sweltering conditions, rallying from 4-0 down in the third set.

The Serb is yet to hit top form this year after switching racquets in pre-season.
Third seed Djokovic will play Jeremy Chardy in round three after the Frenchman beat Marcos Daniel 6-4 6-4 6-1.

American Roddick faced no break points as he came through in one hour 45 minutes against his Swedish opponent.

The seventh seed will play Xavier Malisse in round two after the Belgian beat Michael Llodra 7-6 (10-8) 6-1 6-1.

Eighth seed Juan Martin del Potro stayed on track for a quarterfinal meeting with Federer with a 6-3 6-4 6-2 win over Germany''s Mischa Zverev.

David Ferrer, seeded 11, was taken to five sets by Denis Gremelmayr of Germany but battled to a 6-1 6-7 (6-8) 6-1 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 triumph.

Marcos Baghdatis claimed his first victory in three meetings with Julien Benneteau and the 2006 runner-up will now play 16th seed Robin Soderling, who ousted Robert Kendrick in four sets.

And 16-year-old Australian Bernard Tomic achieved his first-ever Tour level win, beating Potito Starace 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (8-6).

Tomic, at 16 years and 89 days old, is the youngest man to win a match at the Australian Open beating the record set by Todd Woodbridge in 1988.

The first seed to fall on the men''s side of the draw was Feliciano Lopez of Spain. The number 27 seed was beaten 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 4-6 16-14 by Luxembourg''s Gilles Muller.