Plain sailing for Swiss in Melbourne

Roger Federer pulled off a convincing performance in the Australian Open first round Keystone

Switzerland's men's number one, Roger Federer, and fellow Swiss Michel Kratochvil and Emmanuelle Gagliardi have cruised through the first round of the Australian Open.

This content was published on January 15, 2002 - 13:45

Federer stormed to victory making short work of his opponent, the United States veteran Michael Chang. The 20-year-old Swiss won in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 putting an end to the American's chances.

Chang, who turns 30 this year, was making his 15th consecutive appearance at the Australian Grand Slam but had to settle for another disappointing finish.

Slow start

The match got off to a slow start with Federer 0-3 down but the action soon heated up. Federer pulled off some impressive net play making the most of Chang's weak serve to take the set 6-4.

Federer then went on to win 86 per cent of his service points and dominated the game ending with a straight sets win. He will now go on to face Hungary's Attila Savolt in the second round.

It was a similar story for Michel Kratochvil who beat Brazil's Fernando Meligeni 6-4, 6-1, 6-2. The Swiss number two needed 92 minutes to see off the South American competition and played an assertive game.

Shock result

The shock result of the day came from the world number one and home favourite, Lleyton Hewitt, who was knocked out by the unseeded Spaniard Alberto Martin 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6. Martin will now go on to face Kratochvil in the second round.

Hewitt started the match well to take an early lead but he visibly slowed as the game progressed losing the last three sets. He wasn't helped by foot blisters, which forced him to halt play for treatment in the fourth set, and a thigh pain calling for a courtside massage two games later.

Hewitt, who won the US Open last year, is still recovering from a bout of chicken pox, which struck over New Year. He was the first Australian top seed at his home Grand Slam since Ken Rosewall in 1976.

swissinfo with agencies

Gagliardi victory

In the women's action, 65 ATP ranked Emmanuelle Gagliardi beat Russia's Elena Likhovtseva 6-1, 6-7, 8-6. The Swiss rising star fought hard throughout the three sets in what turned out to be a marathon match at 2 hours 52 minutes.

In the second set Gagliardi could have made better use of the tiebreak losing three match balls in a row before she clinched victory.

The Genevan player will now face home talent Cindy Watson in the second round.

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