Roger Federer rides his luck against Andreev

WORLD No1 Roger Federer admits he needed a big slice of luck to help him battle back from a set down to overcome Igor Andreev in his first-round match at the Australian Open.

The Swiss maestro produced an uncharacteristically sloppy display as his Russian opponent's big hitting and aggressive style often forced him into error. It was the first time in 25 grand slams Federer had been taken beyond three sets in the first round. He eventually wore down his opponent to triumph 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7/2), 6-0 in two hours and 44 minutes. The turning point of the match was at the end of an epic third set when Andreev failed to take three set-point chances on his serve before losing the tie-break, and Federer admitted he had got lucky.

"It was a very crucial moment in the match. There was a lot of tension," said Federer, who will play Victor Hanescu in the second round. "I could have won the set twice before, he could have won the set twice before. So it was just one of those moments where anything can happen. You need a bit of luck. I definitely got that in the third set today."

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Federer's recent nemesis, Nikolay Davydenko, blasted past German Dieter Kindlmann 6-1, 6-0, 6-3. The Russian sixth seed has beaten Federer in their last two meetings.

Davydenko next plays 22-year-old Illya Marchenko, the world No119, after he knocked out Carlos Moya in straight sets.

Robin Soderling became the first top-ten player to bow out of the tournament when he suffered a 5-7, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 loss to Spain's Marcel Granollers.