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Federer wins opening match at Australian Open

Roger Federer took the first step toward his record-tying 14th Grand Slam title with a 6-1, 7-6 (4), 7-5 victory Monday over Andreas Seppi at the Australian Open.

Federer, seeking to match Pete Sampras' mark, was at his best on the big points on the opening day when most favorites avoided upsets.

However, it wasn't easy for even the top players.

"He is a very tough customer, he played really well," Federer said of the 35th-ranked Seppi. "I think I played well, too. I had to."

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