Federer, Roddick advance; Baghdatis falls at Aussie Open (Roundup)
Jan 17, 2007, 16:00 GMT
Roger Federer of Switzerland returns to Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden during their second round match at the Australian Open Tennis tournament in Melbourne, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2007. Federer won the match 6-2, 6-3, 6-2. EPA/JULIAN SMITH
Melbourne, Australia - Defending champion Roger Federer and American star Andy Roddick were straight-set second-round winners, while 2006 runner-up Marcos Baghdatis went by way of the upset Wednesday at the Australian Open.
The top-seeded/world No. 1 Federer won his 31st straight tennis match by breezing past veteran Swede Jonas Bjorkman 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 at Melbourne Park.
'I think I was pretty much in control of the match today,' Federer said.
Federer, who is trying to land in a seventh straight Grand Slam final and capture a 10th career major title, already owns two championships in Melbourne, including last year when he topped Baghdatis in the championship round.
The 25-year-old Federer, who also currently holds the Wimbledon, U.S. Open and Tennis Masters Cup titles, moved to a perfect 5-0 lifetime against Bjorkman. That includes a victory over the Swede in the semifinals at Wimbledon last year, when the Swiss tattooed Bjorkman while dropping only four games in a three-set debacle.
Federer's third-round opponent at this Aussie fortnight will be dangerous 25th-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny.
A sixth-seeded Roddick, last year's U.S. Open runner-up to the mighty Federer, moved into the round of 32 with a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 win over Frenchman Marc Gicquel. A confident Roddick defeated Federer in the final at last week's pre-Aussie Open exhibition tournament at Kooyong.
Up next for Roddick will be a third-round showdown with his fellow former world No. 1 Marat Safin, who moved on with his second straight five-set victory here in three days.
'When I kind of saw the draw, I think I expected to play Marat,' Roddick said.
The 26th-seeded Safin snuck past Israeli Dudi Sela 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-0. The two-time Grand Slam champion Safin captured the Aussie Open in 2005 and was the runner-up here in 2002 and 2004. The big Russian gave way to Federer in the final here in '04.
An 11th-seeded Baghdatis, of Cyprus, was dismissed by promising Frenchman Gael Monfils 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 2-6, 6-0 on Day 3. Baghdatis enjoyed a Cinderella run to the final here a year ago and actually took a set off Federer in that title bout.
In other action involving top-10 seeds, No. 7 Spaniard Tommy Robredo routed Austrian Jurgen Melzer 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 and No. 9 Croat Mario Ancic overcame Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.
Fourteenth-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic, who could meet Federer in the fourth round here, blew away Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-2, 7-5, 6-1 to improve to a flawless 7-0 this year, including a season-opening title in Adelaide two weeks ago. The 19-year-old Serb is one of the best young players on the ATP circuit.
In other matches involving top-20 talent, No. 16 Spaniard David Ferrer erased 2002 Aussie Open champion Thomas Johansson of Sweden 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-2; No. 18 Frenchman Richard Gasquet grounded American Amer Delic 6-1, 6-2, 6-4; and No. 20 Czech Radek Stepanek came all the way back to beat his countryman Lukas Dlouhy 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-4. Gasquet will face Monfils in an all- French affair in the next round.
An upset came when Thai Danai Udomchoke topped 24th-seeded former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-6 (7-0), 7-5, 4-6, 6-1. Udomchoke, the only Asian man still standing here, should have his hands full with the tough Djokovic on Friday.
In other seeded action, No. 22 Slovak Dominik Hrbaty handled American Vincent Spadea 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 and the aforementioned Youzhny bested Taipei's Yen- Hsun Lu 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.
Additional second-round wins came for American Sam Querrey and Mardy Fish and veteran Aussie favorite Wayne Arthurs. Querrey drilled Frenchman Florent Serra 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, while Fish defeated Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Arthurs took out American Zack Fleishman in four sets.
The heat, which forced a majority of the afternoon matches to be delayed until sundown here on Tuesday, backed off on Wednesday.
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