Posted: Tue January 15, 2013 1:01AM; Updated: Tue January 15, 2013 1:09AM

Federer shakes off rust, eases into second round

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Roger Federer
Roger Federer cruised into the second round with a straight sets win over Frenchman Benoit Paire.
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Roger Federer opened the campaign for his 18th Grand Slam title by beating Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 in the first round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

The No. 2-seeded Federer dictated the match, sending his 23-year-old French opponent chasing balls around center court.

Down 3-0 in the third set, Paire tumbled and skidded into the net as he tried and failed to reach a shot.

Federer, 31, is bidding for his fifth Australian Open title.

The Swiss star landed in the same half of the draw as No. 3 Andy Murray, meaning they could potentially meet in the semifinals. Federer could face a final against top-ranked Novak Djokovic, who is aiming for a third consecutive Australian Open title.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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