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| 16 January, 2018

Federer breezes through opener in Melbourne

A single break in each set was enough for Federer who looked in total control from beginning to end.

Tennis - Australian Open - Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia, January 16, 2018. Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates winning against Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia.

Tennis - Australian Open - Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia, January 16, 2018. Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates winning against Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia.

REUTERS/Thomas Peter
MELBOURNE - Defending champion Roger Federer got quickly into his majestic stride with a straight-sets win over Slovenian Aljaz Bedene in his opening match at the Australian Open on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old Swiss turned the evening clash on Rod Laver Arena into an exhibition as he breezed past Bedene with consummate ease 6-3 6-4 6-3.

A single break in each set was enough for Federer who looked in total control from beginning to end.

The world number two, bidding for a 20th grand slam title after claiming his 18th here last year and 19th at Wimbledon, broke Bedene's serve in the fourth game of the first set in which he conceded only three points on his serve.

Federer pounced immediately at the start of the second to gain another break and cantered through the rest of the match against a player who he had never played before.

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One member of the sell-out crowd yelled "Give him a chance Rog" late on but the Swiss was not listening and finished the match on Bedene's serve when his opponent netted a backhand.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond) ((martyn.herman@thomsonreuters.com; +442075427933; Reuters Messaging: martyn.herman@thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))