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Tennis: Dominant Federer storms into Open second round

AFP , Monday 18 Jan 2016
Roger Federer
Roger Federer of Switzerland makes a forehand return during his first round match against Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016.(AP)
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Grand Slam record-holder Roger Federer breezed past Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili in straight sets in his opening match at the Australian Open on Monday.

The Swiss third seed crushed the Georgian 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 in just 72 minutes and will play Ukraine's Aleksandr Dolgopolov in the second round.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion was in a different class to his 117th-ranked opponent and showcased his full arsenal of shots against the bemused Basilashvili in their first meeting.

"I am very happy. The first round is never easy and I've never played against Nikoloz so it was nice opening on centre court in a night session which is always a pressure situation," Federer said.

"It was a great match and I hope I can keep it up."

He broke the Georgian eight times in a dominating performance and maintained his record of never having lost in the first round in Melbourne in 17 appearances.

The Swiss great, playing in his 65th consecutive Grand Slam tournament, hit a total of 31 winners and won 91 percent of his first serve points.

Federer is looking to claim his fifth Australian Open crown and at 34 become the oldest man to win the Grand Slam since Ken Rosewall at 37 when he lifted the trophy in 1972.

The Swiss legend is on course for a possible meeting with top seed and five-time winner Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals as he looks for his first Grand Slam title since Wimbledon in 2012.

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