Melbourne - Roger Federer kicked off his record 57th successive grand slam appearance with a 6-4 6-4 6-2 win over local wildcard James Duckworth to reach the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.
The 32-year-old Swiss played cool under a blazing sun at Rod Laver Arena, eschewing a cap for his usual headband, and waited patiently for the 133rd-ranked Duckworth to fall on his sword with his high-risk chip and charge game.
With his new coach Stefan Edberg watching calmly from the stands behind a pair of shades, a restrained Federer broke his 21-year-old opponent once in each of the first two sets before marching through the third to wrap up the match in less than two hours.
Bidding for an 18th grand slam title, and a fifth at Melbourne Park, sixth seed Federer next faces the winner of Czech Radek Stepanek and Slovakian Blaz Kavcic. – Reuters