Tag Archives: straight

ATP Monte Carlo Masters – Rafael Nadal beats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Novak Djokovic beats Fabio Fognini in semis

Serving up a classic Djokovic and Nadal to meet in mouthwatering Monte Carlo final

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

17:40 GMT, 20 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:01 GMT, 20 April 2013

Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal will lock horns with world No 1 Novak Djokovic for third time in the Monte Carlo Masters final after both sailed through their semi-finals with relative ease on Saturday.

Nadal was given a fight by Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga before the Spaniard won 6-3, 7-6 but Djokovic was dominant in a 6-2, 6-1 thrashing of Italian showman Fabio Fognini.

Former world No 1 Nadal, looking for his fourth title of the year in only his fifth event since returning from a long-standing knee injury, clinched a 46th consecutive victory at the traditional clay court event alongside the Mediterranean.

Winning run: Rafael Nadal beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets in his semi-final

Winning run: Rafael Nadal beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets in his semi-final

Serving up a classic: Nadal will play Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday in Monte Carlo

Serving up a classic: Nadal will play Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday in Monte Carlo

The final against Djokovic will give a further measure of Nadal’s physical condition as he eyes the French Open, especially as the Serb is showing no sign of being worried by the ankle he twisted while on Davis Cup duty two weeks ago.

‘It’s fantastic to be in a fifth final in a row after seven months out,’ Nadal said. ‘Novak always pushes you to the limits.’

Djokovic, who has branded Nadal ‘the ultimate challenge on clay’, will hope to improve on his previous Monte Carlo finals against Nadal. He was beaten 6-3, 6-1 in the final last year and in three sets in 2009.

Looking to the heavens: Nadal beat the Frenchman Tsonga 6-3, 7-6

Looking to the heavens: Nadal beat the Frenchman Tsonga 6-3, 7-6

Smashing effort: Tsonga put up a fight in the second set but couldn't force a decider

Smashing effort: Tsonga put up a fight in the second set but couldn't force a decider

‘I will have to be at the top of my game. I’m ready for it. I know what I need to do,’ said Djokovic, who was pleased to have spent only 52 minutes on the court.

‘I had enough tests already this week so I’m happy I can be fresh,’ said the Serb, who was pushed to three sets in his first two matches.

Nadal set up a 16th tournament final against Djokovic despite a wobble from 5-1 up in the second set when Tsonga produced a late surge to make a match of it. Neither the cold wind gusting off the sea, nor the inconsistent Tsonga managed to upset a solid Nadal, who has made the Centre Court stage his own since 2005.

Drubbing: Novak Djokovic beat Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-1 in his semi-final in Monte Carlo

Drubbing: Novak Djokovic beat Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-1 in his semi-final in Monte Carlo

Drubbing: Novak Djokovic beat Fabio Fognini 6-2 6-1 in his semi-final in Monte Carlo

Sixth seed Tsonga made too many mistakes from the baseline as Nadal took a stranglehold on the match. However, a change of tactics when he began charging the net briefly unsettled Nadal to the delight of the previously subdued French crowd.

He attacked in waves and saved four match points to force a tie-break before running out off steam and allowing Nadal to take the match and avoid a third set.

Fognini played some crowd-pleasing winners against Djokovic but was no match for the ruthless Serb who was in no mood to mess around on the centre court.

The 32nd-ranked Italian, who has enjoyed a huge support this week at a stadium located just kilometres away from his home, offered little fight and was booed off court after only 50 minutes by the restless crowd.

WTA Charleston – Family Circle Cup: Serena Williams beats Venus Williams 6-1 6-2 in semi-final

Serena shows big sister Venus tough love with straight-sets thrashing in Charleston

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

20:18 GMT, 6 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:54 GMT, 6 April 2013

Serena Williams demolished her older sister Venus 6-1, 6-2 in a one-sided semi-final at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston.

At times it was painful to watch, with Serena appearing uncomfortable with how she dismantled her sister – at one point not even challenging a ball that was called in when clearly wide – and the whole affair was over in 54 minutes.

Venus was constantly troubled by her serve, producing eight double faults, and it took until the third game of the second set for the former world No 1 to hold. Serena led applause for Venus after the match and chose to speak of her sister's return after a back injury which forced her withdrawal from March's Sony Open.

Thrashed: Serena Williams shakes hands with sister Venus after beating her 6-1, 6-2Thrashed: Serena Williams shakes hands with sister Venus after beating her 6-1, 6-2

Thrashed: Serena Williams shakes hands with sister Venus after beating her 6-1, 6-2

Speedy: Serena needed just 54 minutes to win on the clay in Charleston

Speedy: Serena needed just 54 minutes to win on the clay in Charleston

She said: 'It's really exciting…it's hard on our bodies. We're doing great and we were just excited that one of us was going to the final.'

It was the first time the sisters had faced each other since 2009 and while Serena has been in the ascendancy for some years, the first game gave no hint of the steamrollering to come.

Instead, Serena seemed to be going through the motions and her serve was not its usual formidable weapon, although the world number one held. A fierce cross-court shot gave Serena break point in the following game which had set the tone for the match with regards to Venus' serve, a double fault bringing up 2-0.

Outclassed: Venus had no answer to her younger sister and won just three games

Outclassed: Venus had no answer to her younger sister and won just three games

The younger sister was getting into her stride, a 110mph serve produced en route to 3-0 in contrast to Venus. Serena was quicker to everything and she moved to a 4-0 lead by passing Venus as she came into the net with a looping shot.

Venus finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth game when a fearsome forehand down the line gave Serena no chance.

However, Serena immediately broke back when Venus produced two successive double faults and she went on to win the set to love.

Rivalry: Serena and her sister faced each other for the first time since 2009

Rivalry: Serena and her sister faced each other for the first time since 2009

The crowd were urging Venus on but initially it had little effect as Serena took a 2-0 lead in the second. Venus held to the delight of the stands and she was certainly moving her sister around the court more, but the match was moving towards an inevitable conclusion.

The decisive break came in the seventh game as Venus netted with Serena going 5-2 up, and a long return saw her win to love.

Serena said: 'I felt great. I am really looking forward not only to tomorrow but the rest of the clay court season.'

Serena will meet Jelena Jankovic in the final after the Serbian beat unseeded Stefanie Voegele 6-4 6-7 (6/8) 6-2 in a match lasting two hours eight minutes.

Charlton 3 Bolton 2 – match report

Charlton 3 Bolton 2: Addicks come from two down to record long overdue home win

PUBLISHED:

17:37 GMT, 30 March 2013

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UPDATED:

19:49 GMT, 30 March 2013

Charlton came from two goals down to end their home hoodoo and dent Bolton's play-off hopes.

The Addicks were staring at a fourth straight Valley defeat, and 10th of the season, after Wanderers raced into a two-goal lead through Marvin Sordell and Medo Kamara.

But skipper Johnnie Jackson pulled one back before half-time and Bolton fell to pieces in the second half when Sam Ricketts was sent off.

Turnaround: Yann Kermorgant scored from the spot to complete a remarkable comeback for Charlton

Turnaround: Yann Kermorgant scored from the spot to complete a remarkable comeback for Charlton

MATCH FACTS

Charlton: Hamer, Solly, Morrison, Dervite, Wiggins, Pritchard, Hughes (Gower 72), Jackson, Harriott (Wilson 86), Kermorgant,
Fuller (Haynes 86).

Subs Not Used: Button, Green, Obika, Feely.
Booked: Hughes, Solly, Kermorgant.

Goals: Jackson 25, Dervite 60, Kermorgant (pen) 63.

Bolton: Lonergan, Ricketts, Knight, Dawson, Alonso, Medo, Spearing, Pratley (Odelusi 82), Ngog, Sordell (Butterfield 59), Lee (Craig Davies 69).

Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Eagles, Kevin Davies, Wheater.

Sent Off: Ricketts (58), Craig Davies (90).

Booked: Ricketts, Dawson, Spearing, Craig Davies.

Goals: Sordell 4, Medo 20.

Att: 17,322

Ref: Trevor Kettle (Rutland).

Latest Championship table, fixtures and results

Dorian Dervite immediately dragged
Charlton level and Yann Kermorgant struck the winner from the penalty
spot to complete an unlikely comeback, while Bolton finished with nine
men after a late red card for Craig Davies.

Charlton were missing two of their
senior defenders, Leon Cort and Matt Taylor, through injury and illness
and their patched-up back four were under the cosh from kick-off.

Chung-Yong Lee had already shot over and David Ngog forced a save from Ben Hamer before Bolton took a fourth-minute lead.

Sordell collected Ngog's pass and
turned makeshift centre-half Dervite inside out before tucking the ball
past Hamer.

Charlton attempted to hit back and midfielder Bradley
Pritchard was twice denied by Trotters keeper Andy Lonergan.

But Bolton doubled their advantage in
the 20th minute when Ngog found Medo 25 yards out and the Sierra Leone
midfielder beat Hamer with a swerving drive which went in off the post.

However, five minutes later Charlton
grabbed a lifeline when Bolton cleared a corner only as far as Jackson
on the edge of the area.

The midfielder took the ball past two
defenders before rifling it low into the net.

Captain's strike: Johnnie Jackson started the Charlton revival with his 25th-minute goal

Captain's strike: Johnnie Jackson started the Charlton revival with his 25th-minute goal

They almost grabbed an
equaliser before the break, but Pritchard could not quite get a toe on
Ricardo Fuller's ball across goal.

At the start of the second half
Lonergan could only parry Callum Harriott's deflected shot but Craig
Dawson was on hand to clear.The game swung Charlton's way on the hour
when Ricketts was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Fuller.

Bolton were hit with a double
punishment as, from the free-kick, Kermorgant's curler came back off the
post and Dorvite reacted first to lash in his first goal for the
club.And three minutes later they were ahead.

Lead: Goals from Marvin Sordell (above) and Medo Kamara (below) put Bolton 2-0 ahead at The Valley

Lead: Goals from Marvin Sordell (above) and Medo Kamara (below) put Bolton 2-0 ahead at The Valley

Lead: Goals from Marvin Sordell (above) and Medo Kamara (below) put Bolton 2-0 ahead at The Valley

Fuller burst into the area and was brought down by Darren Pratley, with Kermorgant stepping up to take the penalty.

The Frenchman has form for fluffing
his lines from the spot, having famously tried and failed with a chip in
a play-off penalty shoot-out while playing for Leicester.

But as The Valley held its breath,
Kermorgant wisely opted for power and blasted his shot wide of
Lonergan.Charlton had to endure seven minutes of stoppage time but
Bolton substitute Davies used up most of it by earning himself two
yellow cards to complete Bolton's second-half meltdown.

Off: Dougie Freedman speaks to referee Trevor Kettle after his Bolton team finished the game with nine men

Off: Dougie Freedman speaks to referee Trevor Kettle after his Bolton team finished the game with nine men

Red card: Samuel Ricketts is given his marching orders in the 58th minute

Red card: Samuel Ricketts is given his marching orders in the 58th minute

CHAMPIONSHIP TABLE – AS IT STANDS

TABLE

Rafael Nadal wins Brazil Open, beating David Nalbandian 6-2 6-3 in the final

Back to winning ways! Nadal cruises past Nalbandian to seal first title since comeback

before he was sidelined by tendon trouble in his left knee after
an early exit from Wimbledon.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Victory: Rafael Nadal won his first title since his injury return in Sao Paulo

Rafael Nadal

Nadal made his long-awaited comeback at last week's clay-court event in Vina Del Mar but surprisingly missed out on the title after losing in three sets to Argentinian Horacio Zeballos the final.

The Spaniard struggled to find a rhythm in the beginning but was still able to break Nalbandian's serve twice to take the first set, then rallied from 3-0 down in the second to win six straight games to close out the match.

Nalbandian was playing in a final for the first time since he was disqualified for kicking an advertisement board and injuring a line judge at Queen's Club last June. The former world No 3 hasn't won a title since 2010 in Washington.

Too good: Nadal cruised past David Nalbandian in the Brazil Open final

Too good: Nadal cruised past David Nalbandian in the Brazil Open final

Nadal, who was coming off two three-set matches, still looked far from his best and didn't seem to be moving well. The knee appeared to be bothering him again and he left many balls unchallenged throughout the match.

But with the support from the local fans and with former Brazil star striker Ronaldo and mixed martial arts champion Anderson Silva in the crowd, Nadal took control of the match in the second set to secure the victory.

The 11-time Grand Slam champion admitted that the level of the competition in Brazil was not as high as in other tournaments but said that it wasn't bad either, giving him the perfect opportunity to give his knee a good test. The Spaniard will play another clay-court tournament in Mexico in two weeks.

Delight: The Spaniard celebrates after beating his Argentine opponent

Delight: The Spaniard celebrates after beating his Argentine opponent

Delight: The Spaniard celebrates after beating his Argentine opponent

Nadal had won four of his six career matches against Nalbandian, the last one a three-set victory in the quarterfinals of Indian Wells last year. Nalbandian's last victory over Nadal was in 2007 in the final of a Master Series tournament in Paris.

The 31-year-old Argentine made his season debut in singles at the Brazil Open. He was out of action for several months last season because of an abdominal injury.

Sao Paulo: Nadal signs autographs for the Brazilian fans

Sao Paulo: Nadal signs autographs for the Brazilian fans

DEL POTRO WINS FIRST TITLE OF YEAR IN ROTTERDAM

Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro clinched his first title of the year as he overcame Julien Benneteau 7-6 6-3 in the final of the World Indoor Tournament in Rotterdam on Sunday.

Del Potro, beaten in last year's final by Roger Federer, lost his serve in the first set but Benneteau had no answer to his solid baseline performance which earned him the tiebreak 7-2.

After an early break in the second set Del Potro never looked back against 39th-ranked Benneteau, still seeking a first title having lost all eight finals he has contested.

Juan Martin Del Potro

'It was so important to win the tie-break as I missed several opportunities through mistakes I made to clinch the first set sooner,” Del Potro told reporters.

Del Potro became only the second Argentine after Guillermo Vilas to triumph at the tournament.

'I had a great week and really enjoyed the tennis I played from the first round on,” added Del Potro.
Benneteau said he had fought with all his might to match the hitting and power of world number seven Del Potro.

'It was tough to stay in the first set as I was under pressure every game, as well on my own serve as his,' said the Frenchman, who beat Federer in the last eight.

Australian Open 2013: Li Na beat Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5, 6-3

No problems for Li as she ends Radwanska's winning run to secure semi-final spot

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

02:24 GMT, 22 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

03:03 GMT, 22 January 2013

Li Na made it through to her third Australian Open semi-final today after halting Agnieszka Radwanska's blistering start to 2013.

Radwanska came into the match having won 13 straight matches, a run which included title wins in Auckland and Sydney, but she had no answer to Li's all-or-nothing game.

The Chinese won 7-5 6-3 despite making 40 unforced errors to advance to a last-four clash with either Maria Sharapova or Ekaterina Makarova.

Into the semis: China's Li Na celebrates after defeating Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in their quarter-final

Into the semis: China's Li Na celebrates after defeating Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in their quarter-final

Centre of attention: Radwanska and Li play out their quarter-final match on the Rod Laver Arena

Centre of attention: Radwanska and Li play out their quarter-final match on the Rod Laver Arena

End of the road: Agnieszka Radwanska could not continue her winning run at the start of 2013

End of the road: Agnieszka Radwanska could not continue her winning run at the start of 2013

In a game of contrasting styles, Radwanska started well with her consistency gaining her the upper hand.

She made Li come through a 12-minute opening game to hold but serving was to prove a disadvantage as there were four consecutive breaks before Li finally stood firm to lead 4-3.

Radwanska edged ahead once more after winning a 26-point rally on break point to move 5-4 up.
She could not consolidate it though as Li promptly hit before claiming a 6-5 lead.

Determined: Li returns a shot to Radwanska during her win over the Pole

Determined: Li returns a shot to Radwanska during her win over the Pole

Li Na

Agnieszka Radwanska

Mixed emotions: Li celebrates as Radwanska looks dejected

Not enough: Radwanska lost in straight sets as she could find no answers to Li

Not enough: Radwanska lost in straight sets as she could find no answers to Li

And the sixth seed, the runner-up here two years ago, took the opening set after the best point of the match, both players moving their opponent around the court before Radwanska was pushed into a corner and failed to return a Li smash.

Radwanska, who has now failed to get past the last eight in Melbourne having reached this stage four times, looked like she was mounting a comeback when she established a 2-0 lead in the second.
But Li simply ramped up her game, going for even more from the baseline.

Respect: Li and Radwanska shake hands after the match

Respect: Li and Radwanska shake hands after the match

And having it got back on serve, she seized the initiative further by going on a nine-point run which helped her to take a 5-2 lead – despite one serve bizarrely flying over Radwanska's head on the full and straight into the stand.

Radwanska held to make Li serve it out and, despite a few wobbles, she came through in one hour and 42 minutes.

Australian Open 2013: Maria Sharapova beats Kirsten Flipkens 6-1, 6-0

Maria's in love again: Sharapova into quarter final after dropping just one game to Flipkens

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

06:46 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

06:53 GMT, 20 January 2013

Maria Sharapova took a little bit of time to warm up, but continued her progress through the Australian Open with a 6-1 6-0 victory over Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens.

Sharapova had been the most dominant player in the women's draw so far, recording successive 6-0 6-0 victories in the first two rounds before she dispatched seven times grand slam winner Venus Williams with contemptuous ease in the third round.

From Russia with love: Maria Sharapova celebrates after beating Belgium's Kirsten Flipkins

From Russia with love: Maria Sharapova celebrates after beating Belgium's Kirsten Flipkins

In top form: Sharapova won in straight sets

In top form: Sharapova won in straight sets

The second seed, however, took time to get into her match against the 27-year-old Flipkens and while she won the first set 6-1, it took 43 minutes which demonstrated how difficult she found the tenacious Belgian to put away.

Sharapova, however, cranked into gear in the second set to clinch it in 25 minutes and set up a quarter-final against fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova after the 19th-seed dispatched fifth seed Angelique Kerber 7-5 6-4.

Sharapova said: 'I'm certainly happy to be playing this well but it's the quarter-finals and it only gets tougher from here.'

Heather Watson beaten by Agnieszka Radwanska in Australian Open 6-3, 6-1

End of the road for brave Heather: Fourth seed Radwanska outclasses Watson in third

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

01:58 GMT, 18 January 2013

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UPDATED:

03:08 GMT, 18 January 2013

There was to be no repetition of the Wimbledon wipeout suffered against the same player in the same round, but Heather Watson could not save herself from bowing out of the Australian Open third round.

Despite a much-improved performance compared to SW19 in June – reflecting the improvements she has made in her game – Watson was beaten 6-3, 6-1 in 84 minutes by fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

It was a somewhat harsh scoreline and the British number one could have doubled her tally of games with a little more composure at the right time, but the Pole was always good value for her victory.

Over and out: Heather Watson was beaten in the third round by Agnieszka Radwanska

Over and out: Heather Watson was beaten in the third round by Agnieszka Radwanska

Consolation for Watson is that from her ranking of 50 she will go into the low forties, and has made a decent start towards her season’s goal of getting into the mid twenties. She and Laura Robson, the first two British players in the third round of a Grand Slam since 1991, have shown they belong in the top half century of players.

Barely ten hours after Robson had epically upset former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on the Rod Laver Arena, they were across Melbourne Park on the Hisense Arena, the venue’s secondary stadium.

It was mid morning rather than past midnight and the weather was also very different, the famously changeable Melbourne climate swapping desert heat for much more overcast, cooler and windier conditions.

Winning feeling: Agnieszka Radwanska won in straight sets against Watson

Winning feeling: Agnieszka Radwanska won in straight sets against Watson

Priority One for Watson was to avoid the slow starts she had in the first two rounds, and the first set blowout she had against the Pole in Wimbledon’s third round, when she went down 6-0 in 24 minutes before losing the second 6-2.

Watson has said that the Wimbledon result ‘killed me’, and she might not be much more pleased with the numerical outcome of this, although it was definitely a better performance and one in which her more cautious sense of adventure was not always rewarded with good fortune.

She came out much quicker this time and started the better of the two, forcing two break points, missing the second with a forehand against a player you simply cannot afford to give second chances to.

Starting well: Watson did well at the start of the first set

Starting well: Watson did well at the start of the first set

Making the shot: Watson gets the ball over the net

Radwanska is an antidote to the biff bash school of women’s tennis that predominates, and sometimes gets mentioned in the same breath as Martina Hingis. She cleverly constructs rallies and opens up the court intelligently, relying on guile more than brute force.

At Wimbledon Watson attacked, headless-chicken style, but this time she was more prudent and sought to get to the net when she could, but the beaten SW19 finalist was always a little too solid.

Heather Watson

Agnieszka Radwanska

Mixed emotions: Radwanska celebrates her win as Watson looks dejected

After the disappointment of the fourth game Radwanska broke for 3-2, and then more decisively for 5-2, when the 20 year-old Channel Islander served a double fault and failed to get a point. Breaks were then traded for the set to be taken in 36 minutes.

The second was more processional, at least until a drizzle break caused the roof to be closed at 3-0. Watson paid at times for her overheads not being more punishing, and her opponent scrambled every lost cause admirably. There was a consolation game at 5-0 and should have been another after that.

Time for treatment: Radwanska gets medical attention during a break in her win over Watson

Time for treatment: Radwanska gets medical attention during a break in her win over Watson

Watson could have served better, managing only 51 per cent of first deliveries in and knows she has to continue working on that aspect. But she has shown more strong resolve in this tournament to pluck two wins out of the fire, and can progress further from here.

All over: Radwanska is congratulated by Watson

All over: Radwanska is congratulated by Watson

Australian Open 2013: Andy Murray beats Joao Sousa

Murray races to straight-sets victory over Sousa as Brit sends out warning to rivals

PUBLISHED:

04:07 GMT, 17 January 2013

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UPDATED:

04:18 GMT, 17 January 2013

Andy Murray made short work of Joao Sousa to cruise into the third round of the Australian Open.

The Scot was in imperious form from the start as he overwhelmed his opponent who is ranked at No 100 in the world.

Murray wasted little time in winning 6-2, 6-2, 6-4.

More to follow…

Marching on: Andy Murray eased into the third round of the Australian Open

Marching on: Andy Murray eased into the third round of the Australian Open

Barmy army: Murray's fans cheer him on as he takes an early lead against Joao Sousa

Barmy army: Murray's fans cheer him on as he takes an early lead against Joao Sousa

Feeling the heat: Murray cools down inbetween games as he heads for the third round

Feeling the heat: Murray cools down inbetween games as he heads for the third round

Overwhelmed: Sousa had no chance against Murray as the world No 100 struggled in Melbourne

Overwhelmed: Sousa had no chance against Murray as the world No 100 struggled in Melbourne

All smiles: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears watches on as the British No 1 cruised to victory

All smiles: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears watches on as the British No 1 cruised to victory

Mum's the word: Judy Murray arrives to watch her son in action a the Australian Open

Mum's the word: Judy Murray arrives to watch her son in action a the Australian Open

Australian Open 2013: Roger Federer into second round

Flawless Federer fires timely reminder of title threat as Swiss star strolls through

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

05:24 GMT, 15 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

06:13 GMT, 15 January 2013

Roger Federer opened up his Australian Open challenge – and his season – with a routine straight-sets victory over France's Benoit Paire.

The second seed came to Melbourne having played no warm-up tournaments, but showed no signs of rustiness as he kicked off his bid for a fourth Australian Open title with a 6-2 6-3 6-1 win over the world No 46 in just 83 minutes.

For Paire, who deals more in spurts of inspiration than the sustained brilliance of Federer, it was a painful experience and by the end he looked keen to get off court as quickly as possible.

Main man: Roger Federer eased into the second round with a straight forward win over Benoit Paire

Main man: Roger Federer eased into the second round with a straight forward win over Benoit Paire

Federer said: 'Benoit's a good player, a good talent. I haven't played a match this season yet. You're not sure [how you're going to play] and that's why you're relieved when you get through the first one.'

Federer, who won the pair's only previous encounter in straight sets, was immediately into his stride as he broke in game one, then produced a wonderful pick-up at net in his opening service game, going on to save two break points to hold for a 2-0 lead.

Paire held twice and matched his opponent in patches, but Federer broke again for 5-2 then served out in style.

Family affair: Federer's wife Mirka and two children (below) were watching him in first round action

Family affair: Federer's wife Mirka and two children (below) were watching him in first round action

The children of Switzerland's Roger Federer

Paire was unruffled, though, and opened up set two with back-to-back aces to help take the first game.

But normal service was resumed as Federer broke for 2-1 then held to love to take a firm grip on the second set.

Paire held to stop the rot as Federer sent a backhand long, but he struggled to make any impact on the Swiss player's delivery as the set progressed with serve.

Federer produced a textbook serve-volley point for 5-3, but failed to take a set-point chance as Paire held on to make him serve for the set.

Different league: Benoit Paire was unable to get to grips with Federer's superior game

Different league: Benoit Paire was unable to get to grips with Federer's superior game

Predictably, the task presented the former world No 1 with few problems as he held to 15 and took the set when Paire pushed a backhand long.

Federer broke to open the third and, with all hope lost, Paire came out swinging, but he was missing more than he was hitting and the tactic served only to hasten his demise.

Even when Paire did show good touch at net with an acute backhand, Federer was there to pat the ball into the open court – a point which gave him a 4-0 lead.

Paire finally held for 4-1, then, produced the unlikeliest of break points – his first since Federer's opening service game of the match – but could not convert it.

One for the scrapbook: Federer signs autographs after completing a routine win in Melbourne

One for the scrapbook: Federer signs autographs after completing a routine win in Melbourne

Paire's game descended into trick shots as he attempted – unsuccessfully – a volley between his legs as he served to stay in the match.

Staying in the match looked like the very last thing he wanted, though, and Federer closed it out at the second attempt.

Afterward, the Swiss, who will next face either Israel's Dudi Sela or former world number three Nikolay Davydenko or Russia, explained his decision to play no warm-up matches.

'I've had a few busy years since I had kids,' he said. 'I just wanted to cool down a bit. It's nice to enjoy the off season. I hope it's the right decision, we'll see how it goes. I'm confident in my play.'

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Jumping for joy: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also made it through to the second round with a straight-sets win

Meanwhile, former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga cruised to a 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 win over fellow Frenchman Michael Llodra.

Serving for the match, Tsonga hit a backhand drop half-volley at the net, then powered a forehand to the open court on match point to advance to the second round at Melbourne Park.

Tsonga, seeded seventh, had his best result in a Grand Slam when he made the final of the 2008 Australian Open, losing to Novak Djokovic.

Australian Open 2013 LIVE: Laura Robson takes on Melanie Oudin

Australian Open 2013 LIVE: Follow all the action as Laura Robson kicks off her campaign against Melanie Oudin

By
Liv Lee

PUBLISHED:

03:53 GMT, 15 January 2013

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UPDATED:

04:06 GMT, 15 January 2013

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Tonight Laura Robson takes on Melanie Oudin as she seeks a second round spot in Melbourne. If she can beat the American it will be the first time that Robson has made it past the first round at this tournament, and she could face either Francesca Schiavone or Petra Kvitova in the next round.

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03.59: Robson
has made it past the first round of a Grand Slam before. The
18-year-old went all the way to the fourth at last year’s US Open,
overcoming Kim Clijsters and Li Na on the way.

She was eventually knocked out by Sam Stosur 6-4, 6-4.

 The British No 2 made broke into the top 50 earlier this month

On the way up: The British No 2 made broke into the top 50 earlier this month

03.41am: Heather
Watson fought through illness to overcome Romania’s Alexandra Cadantu
in her first round match yesterday, and now British No 2 Robson will be
doing her best to join her.

These two actually met during the qualifying rounds of last year's Australian Open. Robson took the victory in straight sets but since then the American has climbed from 166 in the world to 84th.

Robson has also risen in the rankings over the last year, breaking into the top 50 for the first time only this month.