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Federer Strolls Into Second Round; Tsonga Defeats Llodra

Melbourne, Australia

Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer won his season debut over Benoit Paire.

World No. 2  Roger Federer was happy to be in "total control" in a 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 victory over Benoit Paire on Tuesday at the Australian Open. The Swiss needed just 83 minutes to overwhelm the Frenchman in his 2013 season opener and afterwards commented:

"I'm obviously very happy with this first-round match, so total control. He can be a tricky opponent, but I guess his playing style doesn't disturb me that much overall. I'm happy I was able to play a clean match out there today."

Playing in the afternoon on Rod Laver Arena, Federer excelled in all areas of his game. He won 75 percent of his service points, broke Paire six times and took 25 of 31 points when he came forward.

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With temperatures set to soar in Melbourne over the coming days, the 31-year-old Federer is ready for the additional challenge, believing himself to have an advantage in the testing conditions.

"I have practised and played so many matches over the years in a lot of heat. I almost favour myself over my opponent in the heat. Obviously when you get the hot match, you try not to stay out there for too long. But then again if you have to, that's what it is. That's part of the game."

Federer is aiming to break a tie with Andre Agassi for the most Australian Open titles in the Open Era, having lifted the trophy four times. His latest triumph at Melbourne Park came in 2010 (d. Murray). The Swiss has never lost before the third round at the event and has reached a record 34 consecutive quarter-finals in Grand Slam competition.

Seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also advanced in straight sets, defeating countryman Michael Llodra 6-4, 7-5, 6-2. Tsonga, the 2008 runner-up (l. to Djokovic), played a clean match, striking 38 winners to 18 unforced errors. He improved his undefeated record over Llodra to a 6-0 mark.

Tsonga“I'm really happy with my tennis today. I did everything great,” Tsonga said. “It's never easy to play a guy like Michael because he's very offensive. The point is very short and you have to be really focused on every shot. So it's good for me to go through this one.”

Tsonga has advanced to the quarter-finals or better in Melbourne on three occasions. His best major tournament result in 2012 came at Wimbledon, where he reached the semi-finals for the second straight year.

Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber continued his recent form with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 victory against Steve Darcis. Kohlschreiber, coming off a runner-up finish to David Ferrer at the Heineken Open in Auckland, won 46 of his 50 first serve points and hit 10 aces.

Kohlschreiber has reached the fourth round at the event three times (2005, 2008, 2012) and plays qualifier Amir Weintraub next. Weintraub won his Grand Slam main draw debut after beating Argentine Guido Pella 7-6(2), 7-5, 6-2.

Ricardas Berankis, appearing in the main draw of a major event for the first time since the 2011 Australian Open, defeated Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-2, 7-6(4), 7-5. The Lithuanian is currently ranked No. 110 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

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