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Federer gets out to easy start at French Open

PARIS - Playing at the French Open as defending champion for the first time, Roger Federer gave the Roland Garros crowd plenty to cheer about yesterday, dipping into his considerable repertoire of shotmaking in a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 victory over 71st-ranked Peter Luczak of Australia.

Federer turned the outing into a glorified practice session. He closed one extended exchange by slicing a backhand with so much spin that, after landing, the ball darted back toward the net, away from Luczak. Federer acknowledged the cheers by raising an index finger, lest somebody forget he's No. 1.

"If it was anyone else, I'd be getting pretty angry," said Luczak, whose career mark in major singles matches fell to 5-14. "He just had me on a string and just [was] toying with me at the end. I think he was enjoying it."

Federer made only 11 unforced errors, won 50 of 64 points on his serve and faced one break point, which he saved.

"I was pretty relaxed," said Federer, who can tie Pete Sampras' record of 286 total weeks at No. 1 in the rankings June 7. "It was like a perfect match to get off the French Open campaign, really."

Other top players - even those who also won - were less pleased with their performances on Day 2, when a searing sun carried the temperature into the 80s.

The No. 1-ranked woman, Serena Williams, found little to smile about after beating Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland, 7-6 (2), 6-2. "I definitely didn't feel good about it," Williams said. "At least I won. I think I'm still in the tournament; that's what matters."

Williams will be joined in the second round by No. 3 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 4 Jelena Jankovic, No. 5 Elena Dementieva, No. 7 Sam Stosur and No. 8 Agnieszka Radwanska.

Andy Murray, the No. 4 seed, had to rally to beat former top-10 player Richard Gasquet of France, 4-6, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-2, 6-1. Yesterday's winners included three U.S. men: No. 17 John Isner, Taylor Dent and Mardy Fish.

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