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Federer cracks tough nut Phau

india Updated: Jan 15, 2007 12:58 IST
AFP
AFP
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Roger Federer knocked over German first-round opponent Bjorn Phau in straight sets at the Australian Open here on Monday, but got a bloody nose in the process.

The world number one, expected to walk in his opening match, suffered the indignity of dropping his formidable serve four times, three times in the opening set.

The nine-time Swiss Grand Slam champion got through comfortably enough after his first set tremors, winning 7-5, 6-0, 6-4 in 1 hour 47 minutes and will play either Swede Jonas Bjorkman or Frenchman Olivier Patience in the next round.

Federer, raging favourite to win his third Australian title and play in his seventh consecutive Grand Slam final here, says he's not concerned how he plays as long as he wins.

"It's not so important as long as I win the matches," the Fed Express said.

"That's really why I'm here. I'm not here to play well and lose. I'm here to kind of play bad and win basically."

But before his fans think the world number one is forsaking his sublime playing style, he quickly added: "I think the level is okay. I think it could be definitely much better.

"That's how I always feel after a first round usually. Sometimes I get good ones, but this one was okay."

Federer said he was just relieved to have got through his opening engagement unscathed at the year's first Grand Slam.

"I mean, more breaks than the usual straight sets.

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