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Monday 18 February 2019

Federer serves straight through

Roger Federer
Roger Federer

Defending champion Roger Federer served straight through Denis Istomin to win their first round encounter at the Australian Open, securing a 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory.

Istomin, of Uzbekistan, has twice reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam, and proved to be a worthy combatant from the back-of-the-court, equipped by a heavy, aggressive baseline game.

But the Swiss' mountainous serve proved too big an obstacle for his opponent to climb, which meant the title contender was rarely challenged on his own service games.

Federer will now play British qualifier Dan Evans, ranked 189 in the world, in the second round.

Tomas Berdych, back to full fitness following a back injury, defeated 13th seed Kyle Edmund 6-3 6-0 7-5 to move into the second round in style.

The Czech, a runner-up in the Qatar Open this month, is participating in only his second tournament since the Queen's Club championships last June but showed no signs of the problem as he dismantled Briton Edmund.

Up next for Berdych is Robin Haase, who beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-5 6-4 7-5.

Caroline Wozniacki launched her title defence with a comfortable 6-3 6-4 win against Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck in the first round on Monday.

The third-seeded Dane broke Van Uytvanck once in each set and kept down her unforced errors to win the baseline battle in an hour and 33 minutes in the first match of the evening session at the Rod Laver Arena.

Van Uytvanck began well to set up a break point in the first game of the opening set but Wozniacki saved it with some big serving.

Wozniacki converted her fifth break point of the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead and took the first set when her opponent sent a service return into the net. In the second set, the break came in the third game for Wozniacki and it proved to be enough.

"I think it was a good match in general. I was surprised of the consistency that she had," Wozniacki told reporters.

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