Fed Wins Aussie Open Opener

First 2008 Slam begins down under
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2008 10:48 AM CST
Serbia's Novak Djokovic serves the ball to Germany's Benjamin Becker during a first round Men's Singles match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – World No. 1 Roger Federer was explosive today in his first Grand Slam match of the year, winning twice as many points as Diego Hartfield (84-42) to take his Australian Open opener at 6-0, 6-3, 6-0. Fed is trying to bag his third straight Aussie and his 13th Slam—one short of Pete Sampras’ all-time record of 14—and is coming off a stomach bug.

“I’m not sick very often so it was a bit of a scare,” said the Swiss champ. The Open is premiering a new blue Plexicushion surface, the AP reports—which was helpful for Venus Williams, who won her first match here since 2005. Other threats advancing today were Novak Djokovic and David Nalbandian on the men’s side and Svetlana Kuznetzova and Ana Ivanovic on the women’s.