Australian Open 2011 – the first of the year’s four Grand Slam seasons – got off to a smooth start on Monday, with top seeds surviving the opening round with ease.
Defending men’s champion and No. 2 seed Roger Federer defeated Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko in straight sets 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
The Swiss maestro has so far won four Australian Open titles.
America’s Andy Roddick trounced Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. World No. 72 Lukasz Kubot from Poland has caused an early upset, overcoming 18th seed American Sam Querrey in five sets to move in to the second round. Score: 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6.
Last year’s quarter-finalist and No.23 at this year’s event, Russian Nikolay Davydenko was dumped in the opening round in four sets by German Florian Mayer.
Sixth seed Tomas Berdych started his Australian Open campaign with a comfortable 6-4 6-0 6-2 win over Italian qualifier Marco Crugnola.
Four-time semifinalist and 8th seeded Andy Roddick eased past Jan Hajek of Czech Republic 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.
Women’s top seed Caroline Wozniacki won 6-3, 6-4 against Gisela Dulko of Argentina.
Venus Williams of the US had an effortless win in her first round match with Sara Errani of Italy. The winner of seven Grand Slam singles titles had a straight forward 6-3, 6-2 win.
Former champion Maria Sharapova is safely through to the second round way past veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-1, 6-3.
Ninth seed Na Li of China saw off determined Swede Sofia Arvidsson in straight sets, 6-1, 7-5.
French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy was forced to work hard for a first-round win over Spaniard Arantxa Parra Santonja.
India’s Sania Mirza managed to snatch the opening set from Belgian No.11 Justine Henin 7-5, but could not keep up the momentum in the last two sets.
Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia was the first seeded player ousted in the first round in women’s section. The 28th ranked player lost to Russia’s Regina Kulikova 6-7, 6-3, 7-9 in the more than 3 hour long marathon encounter.