Federer, Wawrinka progress at Kooyong

14th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

Swiss tennis champions win games at the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne.

MELBOURNE - Roger Federer needed only 57 minutes for a 6-2, 6-3 win over Carlos Moya on Wednesday to begin his final tuneup tournament for the Australian Open.

Federer, aiming to match Pete Sampras' record 14 Grand Slam singles titles, was off target with some forehands initially but quickly found his rhythm in the breezy conditions.

"I was a bit rusty in the beginning but it was a good match overall," he said. "I thought I played OK.

"I was just feeling out ... trying a few things here and there, it was just a matter of getting used to the conditions, getting my footwork right."

Federer said he used the eight-man exhibition tournament at the former home of the Australian Open to build up to the season's first major, starting Monday in Melbourne.

And he was not upset about top-ranked Rafael Nadal and fourth-place Andy Murray not playing at the exhibition tournament.

Federer said he was underprepared when he started 2009 with a loss at an exhibition in Abu Dhabi to Murray, who also beat Nadal in the tournament featuring six of the top 10 men.

"I'd rather not play them", he said. "You might not see the real guys playing each other, they might be trying to hide something away.

"That's why Abu Dhabi was tough for me. It was an unusual first match of the season for me and not very comfortable."

He also lost to Murray in the semifinals earlier in January at the Qatar Open, where the Scottish player defended his title.

Moya was a less difficult mark. The 32-year-old Spaniard held the top ranking in 1999 and won his only major at the French Open in 1998, the year before Federer played his first Grand Slam event.

In the opening match, Stanislas Wawrinka, who combined with Federer to win the Olympic doubles gold medal for Switzerland at Beijing last August, had a 6-2, 6-2 win over Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus.

[AP / Expatica]

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