Federer and Ivanovic ease into British Open tennis second round

Five-time champion Roger Federer put his growing army of doubters firmly in their place by storming into the Wimbledon second round on Monday, the AFP reported.

Top seed Federer took just 79 minutes to brush off injury-plagued Slovakian, and close friend, Dominik Hrbaty 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to reach the second round where he will face tricky Swede Robin Soderling.

Meanwhile, women's top seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, fresh from her maiden Grand Slam title at the French Open, was also in cruise control seeing off Paraguay's Rosanna de los Rios 6-1, 6-2.

The 20-year-old took 57 minutes to beat the 32-year-old South American, ranked 103 in the world, and now faces French veteran Nathalie Dechy for a place in the third round.

Serena Williams, the champion in 2002 and 2003, also progressed with a hard-fought 7-5, 6-3 win over Estonian French Open quarter-finalist Kaia Kanepi.

The American sixth seed will now face Poland's Urszula Radwanska for a place in the last 32.

Federer, who strolled onto Centre Court sporting a 1920s-style cardigan, devastatingly illustrated that reports of his demise were premature with his confident win under bright blue skies.

It was also a 60th consecutive grasscourt victory for Federer, whose last Grand Slam appearance ended in utter humiliation at the hands of Rafael Nadal in the French Open final.

Federer, bidding to win a record sixth successive Wimbledon title and unbeaten on grass for six years, admitted it was a relief to be back at the familiar surroundings of the All England Club.

"Every time you walk out the grass is perfect. The roof is back on and that looks more natural and the sun was out," said the Swiss who insisted he has not paid any attention to those people writing him off as a spent force.

"I haven't read or listened to any of it. I was concentrating on winning in Halle (his fifth grasscourt title in the German city).

"I played really well and it was great fun against one of my good friends on the tour," said Federer who didn't face a break point in the match.

The top seed had lost both his previous meetings to Hrbaty but the most recent was in 2004 and the former world number 12 was down at 272 when the draw was made after undergoing surgery on his right elbow.

Federer raced through the first two sets in just 58 minutes and then reeled off five straight games to lead 5- 1 in the third.

The 30-year-old Hrbaty, making his 12th consecutive appearance here, held on to trail 2-5 and then won warm applause from the crowd when he spent the changeover chatting amicably to his opponent on the seat next to the champion.

The two are close friends having played doubles together and practised regularly.

"Dominik came over and said do I mind if he sat next to me. He said it might be his last Wimbledon. I said it was OK," explained Federer.

Ivanovic, who took the world number one spot with her victory in Paris, said she was thriving on the pressure of being the top player.

"Obviously there are different ways of dealing with pressure. Becoming number one, it takes more pressure, but also you have to see pressure for what it is. It's a reflection of your own ambition," she said.

Also going into the next round where Cypriot 10th seed Marcos Baghdatis, a semi-finalist in 2006, and Spain's former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero, the 21st seed and Chilean 15th seed Fernando Gonzalez.

In the women's event, fourth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, a former US Open champion who has never got beyond the quarter-finals here, struggled to get past French qualifier Mathilde Johansson 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-3.

Other seeds were not so fortunate with Swiss 12th seed Patty Schnyder, Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, French duo Virginie Razzano and Alize Cornet as well as Russia's Maria Kirilenko all making exits.

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