Seeds fall at first round of Australian Open
Updated: 2015-01-20 09:44
MELBOURNE - Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova both eased through their first round matches at the Australian Open on Monday while many female seeds failed to live up to their rankings.
Angelique Kerber of Germany reacts after missing a return against Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania during their women's singles first round match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 19, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
Eight of the sixteen seeded women in play on Day 1 failed at the first hurdle.
Angelique Kerber (9th seed), Lucie Safarova (16), Carla Suarez Navarro (17) and Anastasia, Pavlyuchenkova (23) all departed late on Monday to less fancied opponents.
They joined Ana Ivanovic (5), Svetlana Kuznetsova (27), Sabine Lisicki (28) and Belinda Bencic (32) on the beaten seeds' scrap heap.
Men's 10th seed Ernests Gulbis also went down, albeit in a five- set thriller against 18-year-old Australian Thannasi Kokkinakis.
Roger Federer has never lost in the first round at the Australian Open and the 17-time Grand Slam did not falter in his 2015 start.
Federer was in second gear for most of the match as he seamlessly disposed of Lu Yen-Hsun 6-4 6-2 7-5.
Chinese Taipei's Lu showed some fight in the final set but that only made Federer step up a gear.
The Swiss maestro lost only one of the final 13 points on his way to the first of what he hopes to be seven wins on Rod Laver Arena.
"Winning first round, it's always a bit of a relief," said Federer, who has made 11 consecutive semi-finals at Melbourne Park.