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Rediff.com  » Sports » Clijsters, Li cruise, Federer advances without playing

Clijsters, Li cruise, Federer advances without playing

January 18, 2012 10:53 IST

Champion Kim Clijsters and the player she beat in last year's final Li Na rarely got out of first gear while Roger Federer did not even have to get out of bed to advance to the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

American eighth seed Mardy Fish, however, became the first men's top-10 player to depart the tournament when he crashed out in straight sets to Colombia's Alejandro Falla 7-6, 6-3, 7-6.

Temperatures were much more comfortable on Wednesday after the first two days when they reached 30 degrees Celsius before midday, and Clijsters barely built up a sweat on Rod Laver Arena as she thrashed France's Stephanie Foretz Gacon in 47 minutes.

Clijsters, who has recorded four previous 6-0, 6-0 'double bagel' victories at Melbourne Park, flirted with a fifth as she rattled off the opening seven games in little under 30 minutes before the 30-year-old Frenchwoman finally held serve.

Kim ClijstersThe stay of execution, however, was brief and the Belgian calmly went through her processes again, building pressure and forcing errors before she moved into the third round with a 6-0, 6-1 win when Fortez Gacon's return of serve floated long.

"I felt like in my first match I didn't really have that rhythm that I would have liked to have," Clijsters told reporters. "So that's usually something that I try to look for in the beginning of the match.

"(I) was hitting the ball well (and) felt that I could keep her under pressure. I didn't really let her play her game. From the beginning till the end, I did what I had to do well."

French Open champion Li, was almost as efficient, giving Australian opponent Olivia Rogowska little time to settle into the match and ran out a 6-2, 6-2 winner in 62 minutes.

World number three Federer, who had been due to play later on Wednesday received a walkover into the third round when his German opponent Andreas Beck withdrew from the tournament with a back injury.

 

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