Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Federer drops set but wins opener at Australian Open

The last time Roger Federer played at Rod Laver Arena, he left in tears after losing the Australian Open final to Rafael Nadal a year ago.

There were no such waterworks Tuesday, just a few tense moments for the Swiss star seeking his 16th Grand Slam title in a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2), 6-0 win over Igor Andreev of Russia in the first round at Melbourne, Australia.

Federer lost the first set after leading by a break, then saved three set points in the 12th game of the third set before winning the tiebreaker and dominating the fourth set.

Last year, Federer shed tears after having missed his first chance to equal Pete Sampras' 14 Grand Slam titles -- a feat he later achieved and surpassed with wins at the French Open and Wimbledon.

No. 7 Andy Roddick had a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci.

In women's matches, sixth-seeded Venus Williams beat Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, 6-2, 6-2, and Melanie Oudin, the 18-year-old American who made a surprising run to last year's U.S. Open quarterfinals, lost her first-round match, 2-6, 7-5, 7-5, to Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia. Svetlana Kuznetsova became the first player into the third round with a 6-2, 6-2 win today over fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Auto racing: Tony George's separation from the management of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is complete. George, ousted as CEO in June, resigned from the board of directors that oversees the speedway and the family business, Hulman & Co. The move was announced in a statement by George's mother, Mari Hulman George, who chairs the board. The Hulman-George family has run the speedway, home of the Indy 500, for six decades. George, who was the speedway's president for 20 years and formed the IRL in 1994, was removed last year amid job cuts and concerns about his spending on upgrades at the speedway.

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