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Defending champion Roger Federer served straight through Denis Istomin to win their first-round encounter at the Australian Open, securing a 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory on Monday evening.

Istomin, of Uzbekistan, has twice reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam and proved to be a worthy combatant from the back-of-the-court, equipped by a heavy, aggressive baseline game.

But the Swiss’ mountainous serve proved too big an obstacle for his opponent to climb, which meant the title contender was rarely challenged on his own service games.

Federer will now play British qualifier Dan Evans, ranked 189 in the world, in the second round.

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