Hot-stuff Roger Federer takes spring cruise

Paris: Top seed and defending champion Roger Federer began his campaign for a 17th Grand Slam title with a comfortable 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 win over Australia`s Peter Luczak in the French Open first round on Monday.

Federer, who completed a career Grand Slam by winning his first Roland Garros crown here in 2009, will face Colombia`s Alejandro Falla for a place in the last 32.

The Swiss star was barely troubled by the 71st-ranked Luczak, who has never won a match at the French Open in four attempts.

After wrapping up the first set, Federer secured breaks in the fourth and sixth games of the second, as 30-year-old Luczak ran out of steam on another sweltering day in Paris where temperatures nudged 30 degrees.

Two more breaks followed in the fifth and seventh games of the third set with the match wrapped up after 1hr 48min courtesy of a razor-sharp Federer backhand.

Despite the win, Federer, playing in his 42nd successive Grand Slam event, refused to look forward to a fourth Roland Garros final against old rival Rafael Nadal.

"He`s in great form, but I`m just looking at my draw. The final hasn`t happened yet," said Federer, who has yet to win a claycourt title this season.

Spain`s Feliciano Lopez, the 27th seed, was the day`s biggest early casualty, losing to German qualifier Julian Reister, the world 165, in straight sets.

Caroline Wozniacki, leading the chasing pack in pursuit of the Williams sisters, shrugged off ankle injury concerns to sweep into the women`s second round.

The 19-year-old Dane reeled off the first seven games of the match before clinching a 6-0, 6-3 win over Russian world 78 Alla Kudryavtseva, the 69-minute victory proving a crucial confidence-booster for the third seed.

Wozniacki came into Paris having retired from the Warsaw event last week with a recurrence of the ankle injury that also cut short her Charleston campaign and has cast a shadow over her entire claycourt season.

A second-round loss in Madrid sapped her optimism while also helping Venus Williams displace her as world number two.


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