Federer, Azarenka advance as heat wave arrives

Federer, Azarenka advance as heat wave arrives


 Roger Federer kept his cool on a scorching second day at the Australian Open, starting his record 57th consecutive Grand Slam tournament with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 victory in his first match with Stefan Edberg as a coach.

Federer was the second match on Rod Laver Arena today, and the temperature topped 41 Celsius (106 Fahrenheit) during his win over Australian wild-card entry James Duckworth.

Two-time defending women's champion Victoria Azarenka played the previous match on the center court at Melbourne Park, and said it felt "pretty hot, like you're dancing in a frying pan or something like that."

After her 7-6 (2), 6-2 win over No. 91-ranked Johanna Larsson of Sweden, Azarenka went back out to practice and said she planned an ice bath later as a recovery.

Asked how he handled the heat, the 32-year-old Federer said: "I'm here. I'm speaking. Actually, it's not crazy. I'm feeling OK right now."

He now owns the record for playing the most consecutive Grand Slam events, another milestone in a career that has already netted 17 major titles for the Swiss star.

He kept the points as short as possible, and only gave No. 133-ranked Duckworth one look at a break point in the 1-hour, 46-minute match.

He said it was "great fun" to finally play in front of childhood hero Edberg, who he hired on a part-time basis last month.

"I used to watch his matches and get inspired," Federer said, then added: "He warmed me up .... I won!"

Conscious of the time and the temperature, former No. 1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki and No. 11 Simona Halep raced to straight-sets wins.

Wozniacki said the court was so hot in her 6-0, 6-2 win over Lourdes Dominguez Lino, which started at 11 a.m., that it seemed to melt her plastic water bottle.

In her first Grand Slam match since her New Year's Eve engagement to golfer Rory McIlroy, she did everything she could to keep cool.

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