Federer Wins; Other Haase, Spadea Not Afraid in Aussie Open Upsets

Posted on January 15, 2008

Two upsets Tuesday at the Australian Open, where Dutchman Robin Haase came from a set down to oust No. 17 seed Ivan Ljubicic 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-0, 7-6(1), and American Vincent Spadea came from two sets down to shock Nicole Vaidisova's boyfriend and No. 30 seed Radek Stepanek 2-6, 2-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-3.

World No. 1 Roger Federer shook off any doubts of his fitness due to a pre-tournament illness, blitzing Argentine Diego Hartfield 6-0, 6-3, 6-0 in his tournament debut.

"I knew he had a good serve," Federer said of Hartfield. "I remember being down 4-Love in the first set against him in Paris [French Open]. So that was a bit of a scare. Came back, and I think I beat him 7-5, 7-6, 6-2 or something. Really had to battle it out. So it was a bit of a surprise. Easy result tonight. But I checked out his results, you know, from last year. 90% were on clay, so obviously I have the big edge of knowing the hard courts."

Other Top 10 winners were (3) Novak Djokovic (d. Benjamin Becker), (5) David Ferrer (d. Edouard Roger-Vasselin), (7) Fernando Gonzalez (d. Konstantinos Economidis), and (10) David Nalbandian (d. Robert Smeets), all straight-set winners.

Also advancing of note were (12) James Blake (12), former runner-up (15) Marcos Baghdatis, and homecountry hope (19) Lleyton Hewitt.

Unseeded Americans had their day, with Amer Delic (d. countryman Robert Kendrick), Michael Russell (d. Fabio Fognini in five) and Sam Querrey (d. Olivier Rochus) into the second round, while John Isner was subdued by Fabrice "The Magician" Santoro in straight sets.

Korea's Hyung-Taik Lee also derailed local hope Chris Guccione, topping the Aussie in straight sets.

Four spectators were ejected from the tournament Tuesday as Australian Open officials used pepper spray on Margaret Court Arena, the third-biggest at the Melbourne Park complex, to subdue unruly fans.

Wednesday's highlights in Melbourne are (2) Rafael Nadal vs. Florent Serra, (6) Andy Roddick vs. Michael Berrer, Mardy Fish vs. (11) Tommy Robredo, American Sam Warburg vs. Andy Murray-killer Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, and (8) Richard Gasquet vs. Feliciano "F-Lo" Lopez.