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Tennis news - Roger Federer into second round with straight-sets victory over Denis Istomin

Federer into second round with straight-sets victory over Istomin

14/01/2019 at 11:08Updated 14/01/2019 at 13:34

Roger Federer eased into the second round of the Australian Open courtesy of a 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory over Denis Istomin.

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.

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

"I think I can trust my second serve in particular; when you trust your second serve, you can go after your first serve," Federer told journalists.

"I started to feel that midway through the first set it was going to be difficult for Denis to get into my service games. That relaxes you from the baseline. Then good things really happen."

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Both players had their share of momentum in the largely baseline affair. Federer, however, did not face a single break point during the match, such was his serving dominance.

Federer broke Istomin's serve once in each set.

After a conservative first set, Federer tickled the giddy crowd with an on-the-run, curling backhand pass in the third game of the second set which seemed to add rocket fuel to his groundstrokes for the remainder of the match.

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The Swiss broke serve that game and Istomin never recovered.

Federer and rival Novak Djokovic are both in search of a record seventh Australian Open title in Melbourne.