No sweat for Federer and Nadal
A review of Tuesday's men's singles action at the Australian Open, including wins for Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
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Roger Federer's partnership with Stefan Edberg got off to a winning start as the Swiss made light of brutally hot conditions to reach the second round of the Australian Open, while Rafael Nadal's progression was even easier on Tuesday.
Edberg took part in his first training session at Melbourne Park on Monday after agreeing to coach Federer for 10 weeks this year.
And there was nothing to worry about for the watching Swede, who somehow managed to look cool in the 40C heat, as Federer eased to a 6-4 6-4 6-2 victory over Australian wild card James Duckworth.
Edberg, who won six grand slam titles, was Federer's idol when he was growing up, but there were not too many glances from the sixth seed towards his support box during the match.
He said: "I realised after a set that I hadn't looked up once. I thought, 'I better check if he's actually sitting there'. He was wearing sunglasses. 'Okay, he is there'.
"I don't look up too much. I stopped doing that way back when because you just can't be dependent on these looks all the time. Being coached from the sidelines, that's not how I grew up.
"Clearly when I did look up, it's nice seeing him sitting there. Even if he wasn't my coach, it would be nice. Plus he's in my corner. It's great."
Federer thinks dealing with the heat is more of a mental challenge than physical.
He said: "If you've trained hard enough your entire life, or just the last few weeks, and you believe you can come through it, there's no reason (you can't). If you can't deal with it, you throw in the towel."
Meanwhile Nadal needed just one set to book his place in the next round as opponent Bernard Tomic retired with injury.
The top seed took the first set 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena before his Australian opponent withdrew, with the decision appearing not to go down well with some sections of the crowd.
Nadal took the only break point in the set to move into a 5-4 lead and then closed out the set in 39 minutes.
The Spaniard missed last year's tournament with a stomach virus and admitted and admitted his return to Melbourne had been "really emotional".
He said in an on-court interview: "The final against Novak (Djokovic) two years ago, even if I lost (Djokovic won in five sets), is one of the top moments of my career.
"I really enjoy playing here so much in Australia. I am sure I missed you more than you missed me last year."
Nadal will next face another home player, Thanasi Kokkinakis, the 17-year-old world number 570.
And he said he was pleased with his fitness at the start of the year.
"My first goal of last year when I came back was to finish the year, and that's what happened," he added. "I finished the year and I finished the year playing one of the best seasons of my career.
"I am able to start again this year and that's the best news possible."
There was more disappointment for the home crowd when Lleyton Hewitt was sent packing by
Andreas Seppi in a five-set thriller.
Hewitt looked set to come out on top of yet another epic when he held match point having been two sets down but the Italian served an ace and ended up winning 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 5-7 5-7 7-5.
Hewitt came into the tournament unbeaten this year after seeing off Roger Federer to win the title in Brisbane, so his early exit is a major blow.
The 32-year-old was playing in his 18th Australian Open, and he said: "I had to try to keep fighting, find a way. I ended up one point from coming back from two sets down."
Thirteenth seed John Isner did retire from his match but it was an ankle injury rather than the heat that put paid to the American's chances against Martin Klizan.
That section of the draw is now wide open after 21st seed Philipp Kohlschreiber pulled out before the start of play because of a hamstring problem.
One of those two had been expected to reach the fourth round, where they were seeded to meet world number four Andy Murray.
Isner is, though, expecting to be fit to take on Murray's Great Britain side in Davis Cup the week after the Australian Open.
Fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro is fancied by many to have a good fortnight but he had to fight back from a set down to defeat American Rhyne Williams.
There was a remarkable victory, meanwhile, for 18th seed Gilles Simon, who was on crutches at the weekend after twisting his ankle in a match at Kooyong but came through 16-14 in a fifth set against Daniel Brands after four hours and 32 minutes.
The Frenchman said: "I was in really bad shape after Kooyong. I think I just got lucky that the recovery was that fast for the ankle."
There were also wins for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils, Kei Nishikori, Fernando Verdasco, Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov and Feliciano Lopez.
In second-round action on Wednesday, defending champion Novak Djokovic plays Argentinian Leonardo Mayer, while Hewitt and Pat Rafter are scheduled to begin their doubles campaign.