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Aus Open: Federer, Serena start with easy wins on opening day

Melbourne, Jan 20 (IANS) Roger Federer and Serena Williams got off to clinical starts in the opening round of the Australian Open on Monday. While Federer brushed aside Steve Johnson to race into the second round, Serena thrashed Anastasia Potapova.

The 38-year old Federer eased past his rival 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to kickstart his bid for a 21st Grand Slam title in style. He will next take on either French qualifier Quentin Halys or Serbian Filip Krajinovic.

Meanwhile, 13th seed Denis Shapovalov had a big row with the umpire for throwing his racquet in frustration as he lost his opener 6-3, 7-6 (9/7), 6-1, 7-6 (7/3) to Hungarian Marton Fucsovics in a big upset on day one.

In the women’s matches, while Serena beat Potapova 6-0, 6-3 in 58 minutes, Naomi Osaka began her Australian Open title defence by dismantling unseeded Czech Marie Bouzkova. The 22-year-old Japanese, roared past her rival 6-2, 6-4 in 80 minutes.

Elsewhere, world number one and local girl Ashleigh Barty braved a scare before powering into the second round. The 23-year-old saw off Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.

Caroline Wozniacki also started with a good win as the 2018 champion beat Kristie Ahn 6-1, 6-3 to reach the second round.

American Coco Gauff, all of 15, got the better of Venus Williams – the second time the teenager has dumped the veteran out in a Grand Slam first round as she won 7-6 (7/5), 6-3.

–IANS

dm/bbh

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