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Roger Federer breezes into Australian Open second round while Serena Williams claims routine win

Roger Federer breezes into Australian Open second round with straight-sets win over Steve Johnson while Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka also claim routine victories in Melbourne

  • Roger Federer hammered American Steve Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2 in the first round
  • It was his first competitive match since losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in November
  • Serena Williams eased to a 6-0 6-3 win over Anastasia Potapova in Melbourne
  • Defending champion Naomi Osaka made a solid start by beating Marie Bouzkova

Roger Federer showed no signs of rust from his lack of match practice ahead of the Australian Open as the third seed launched his campaign for a record 21st Grand Slam title by hammering American Steve Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2 in the first round on Monday.

Playing his first competitive match since losing to Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in the ATP Finals in November, the 38-year-old broke his opponent’s serve early in each of the three sets and closed out the match when Johnson hit a return long.

Despite blustery conditions, Federer served superbly from the start and hit winners at will against Johnson, who is ranked 75th in the world, and he was as ruthless under the closed roof at the Rod Laver Arena after play was interrupted by rain.

Roger Federer celebrates after hammering American Steve Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2 in Melbourne

The Swiss, who showed no signs of rust whatsoever, served superbly from the start

The Swiss, who showed no signs of rust whatsoever, served superbly from the start

A six-time champion at Melbourne Park, Federer will take on the winner of the match between French qualifier Quentin Halys and Filip Krajinovic of Serbia in the second round.

Meanwhile, Serena Williams appears extra determined to finally equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam singles titles in Melbourne as she eased to a 6-0 6-3 victory over Anastasia Potapova.

Williams needed just 19 minutes to win the first set but the 18-year-old Russian dug in to at least make the scoreline respectable.

Williams, seeded eighth, won her first title for three years in Auckland last weekend.

Serena Williams eased to a 6-0 6-3 victory over Anastasia Potapova at the Australian Open

Serena Williams eased to a 6-0 6-3 victory over Anastasia Potapova at the Australian Open

Williams is extra determined to finally equal Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam singles

Williams is extra determined to finally equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam singles

Defending champion Naomi Osaka made a solid start to her Australian Open campaign with a straight-sets victory over Marie Bouzkova.

Osaka, who beat Petra Kvitova in the final 12 months ago to win her second grand slam title, had the honour of opening the tournament on Rod Laver Arena.

There was a brief moment of alarm in the second set when she trailed 21-year-old Czech Bouzkova 4-2 but Osaka won the next four games to seal a 6-2 6-4 victory.

The third seed will next face China’s Zheng Saisai, who defeated Anna Kalinskaya 6-3 6-2. 

Last year’s finalist Kvitova was also very convincing indoors on Margaret Court Arena, dropping just one game in a 6-1 6-0 destruction of fellow Czech Katerina Siniakova. 

Defending champion Naomi Osaka claimed a straight-sets victory over Marie Bouzkova

Defending champion Naomi Osaka claimed a straight-sets victory over Marie Bouzkova

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk