INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - Top-ranked Roger Federer and No. 3 Andy Roddick breezed through their opening matches in the Pacific Life Open on a sweltering Sunday in the desert.
Federer, last year’s Wimbledon winner and the Australian Open champion this year, began play with a methodical 6-1, 6-1 victory over Andrei Pavel.
On a roll to begin the year, Federer extended his 2004 match record to 17-1.
Roddick, the reigning U.S. Open champion, downed Jan-Michael Gambill 7-6 (3), 6-2 as afternoon temperatures reached 102 degrees.
On the women’s side, Lindsay Davenport beat Samantha Stosur 6-0, 6-3 in a third-round match.
Federer, coming off a win at Dubai, was extremely accurate with his powerful forehand against Pavel, ripping 16 winners.
Federer, from Switzerland, upped his record against the Romanian to 6-0, including a win at Dubai and three other victories over him already this year.
Federer said it can be difficult to play the same opponent so often.
“You always feel like now he has had time to figure you out better,” he said. “He knows even more about your game, especially if you play in such a short time.”
Federer was surprised the match was one-sided.
“He’s maybe mentally not as strong against me as he was the first time we played this year. I knew that could play a role,” he said.
Asked about playing in the desert heat in Dubai, then coming to the California desert, Federer said, “It’s much warmer here than in Dubai, but the court plays very similar and that was good.”
Roddick, who needed three sets to beat Gambill in their quarterfinal match last week in Arizona, had 21 aces and held service throughout.
His fastest serves were in the low 140-mph range, off his men’s record of 150 mph but plenty fast enough to handcuff Gambill.
Roddick, who finished last year at No. 1, also was consistent with his groundstrokes, making only 10 unforced errors to Gambill’s 23.
Gambill came back after trailing 0-40 in the 12th game of the first set. On the final three points, Roddick netted a backhand, hit a forehand wide, then Gambill forced the tiebreaker with a serve-and-volley winner.
Roddick’s 134-mph ace gave him the first point in the tiebreaker and he led the rest of the way.
Gambill had seven aces — and seven double faults.
“He definitely didn’t serve as well as he did when we played in Scottsdale,” Roddick said.
Davenport hadn’t lost a game in her opening match against Mara Santangelo, so she had won 18 in a row until Stosur took the first game of the second set.
“I knew that little streak was going to come to an end, unfortunately,” Davenport said, smiling. “But it was a good little streak.”
Argentine qualifier Gisela Dulko eliminated No. 12 Nadia Petrova of Russia, 6-3, 6-3.
Vincent Spadea, who ended his 0-for-222 tournament drought by winning his first title last weekend in Arizona, defeated Flavio Saretta 6-3, 6-2 to advance at Indian Wells, and Mardy Fish beat qualifier Glenn Weiner 6-4, 6-4.
Watching Rafa Nadal churn his way through the claycourt season over the past few weeks, it seems nothing much has changed since his French Open triumph a year ago despite a lengthy injury layoff.
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