Federer sees off Duckworth threat
5:58am Tuesday 14th January 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Roger Federer breezed into the second round of the Australian Open under the gaze of new coach Stefan Edberg.
Federer has employed six-time grand slam champion Edberg for 10 weeks this season, starting at the Rod Laver Arena against home hope James Duckworth on Tuesday, as he once again bids to challenge the world's elite.
Four-time former Australian Open champion Federer, who is currently ranked sixth in the world rankings after a forgettable 2013, was rarely stretched in a 6-4 6-4 6-2 victory against the energetic, if limited, Duckworth in extreme temperatures.
Federer did not have to be at his best against the all-or-nothing world number 133, who attempted to take the game to the 17-time grand slam champion from the start in the searing heat.
Duckworth delighted the partisan crowd with several audacious winners, but made several unforced errors in his attempt to make an impression.
Federer did not look back after seizing the initiative in the fifth game although he let slip several more chances to break the serve of the underdog once again.
The Swiss did not concede a single break point, though, and his fifth ace gave him three set points, with the former world number one converting at the first time of asking with a big second serve.
The writing was on the wall for 21-year-old Duckworth, who saved three break points in the fifth game of the second set before losing his serve immediately afterwards.
Duckworth earned his first break point opportunity in the next game, but Federer snuffed out the danger before going on to clinically take a two-set lead.
Federer made a perfect start to the third set by breaking in the opening game with an overhead smash that would have made Edberg - well-renowned for his skills at the net as a player - beam.
Duckworth was visibly wilting and he was broken once more as Federer cruised to victory in an hour and 46 minutes.