roger, serena ace 1st round

MELBOURNE - Top seeds Roger Federer and Serena Williams lived up to their star billing yesterday by charging into the Australian Open second round, with Venus Williams and Novak Djokovic hot on their heels.

MELBOURNE - Top seeds Roger Federer and Serena Williams lived up to their star billing yesterday by charging into the Australian Open second round, with Venus Williams and Novak Djokovic hot on their heels.

The Swiss world No 1 swept home after a sluggish start to eliminate Russian Igor Andreev in four sets, while Serena wasted little energy in demolishing Pole Urszula Radwanska 6-2 6-1.

Also through was in-form Russian Nikolay Davydenko, who laid down the gauntlet by saying the Federer-Nadal dominance was over.

Tenth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga powered on but eighth-ranked Swede Robin Soderling was sent packing, the highest seed to fall so far.

World No 3 Djokovic, the 2008 champion, was tested in the first set by Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver before taking control and racing to a 7-5 6-3 6-2 win.

On the women's side, eighth seed Jelena Jankovic and fellow Serb Ana Ivanovic also made the next round.

Federer said it was a good opening test. "I knew from the start it was not going be an easy one," said the 15-time Grand Slam winner after winning 4-6 6-2 7-6 (2) 6-0.

Serena, who is searching for her 12th Grand Slam singles title to join Billie Jean King as one of the all-time greats, was in fine form despite having her right thigh heavily strapped.

Sister Venus also made short work of her opponent, crushing Czech Lucie Safarova 6-2 6-2. Jankovic also progressed with an easy 6-4 6-0 win over Romania's Monica Niculescu, while fellow Serb and 20th seed Ana Ivanovic also motored through. - Sapa-AFP

X