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Roger Federer, Andy Murray through to the second round of the Australian Open

616   //    18 Jan 2016, 18:17 IST
Roger Federer in action during his opening encounter of the 2016 Australian Open.

World No.3 Roger Federer was in ruthless form in Melbourne on Monday as he surged through to the second round of the Australian Open tennis tournament with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili.

The 17-time Grand Slam winner hammered 31 winners to just nine from his opponent and converted eight of his 14 break points to claim the match in just 72 minutes.

"That was a good match," said Federer after the win at the Rod Laver Arena.

"I'm really pleased how I was able to play. Definitely gives me a bit of a lift in confidence because this year I haven't been able to play properly yet."

"This was a match where I was able to focus on my game, on tactics, all that stuff. So it was nice to play that way."

The 34-year-old Federer is looking to become the third man in history to win five Australian Open titles, following Roy Emerson (six) and World No.1 Novak Djokovic (five).

The Swiss lifted the trophy at Melbourne Park in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2010. He also finished runner-up in 2009.

Elsewhere, No. 2 Andy Murray won his own first round match at the Open, beating German teen Alexander Zverev in straight sets – 6-1, 6-2, 6-3. 18-year-old Zverev, whose father was also a professional tennis player, is considered one of the sport’s young rising stars, and last year was awarded the ATP Star of Tomorrow Award in acknowledgement of that fact.

In 2015, the young player took good victories over strong players such as Kevin Anderson and Alexandr Dolgopolov, and met Croat ace Marin Cilic at the quarterfinals of the Citi Open that year. Although he had lost that match, it had been in close sets.

In addition to Murray’s onslaught, Zverev also suffered under the harsh Australian sun, with the heat giving him a nosebleed midway through the match.

Murray will next face a relatively easy opponent – Australian Sam Groth.

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