MELBOURNE, Australia – Top-ranked Roger Federer dispatched wild-card entry Denis Istomin in the first round of the Australian Open today, cruising to a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 victory. Federer was broken once, when he was serving for the second set, and faced only three break points in the 83-minute match. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita “It’s never really easy,” said Federer, who met Istomin for the first time in the locker room before the match. “As long as I win, I’m happy – it was a good start.” Istomin, a 19-year-old from Uzbekistan, is ranked 195th. Playing in his first top-tier event, he had some highlights. He twice aced Federer as he held in the sixth game of the second set. He had eight aces overall, against only two for Federer. “I played good today, but had too many unforced errors,” said Istomin, who had 39 unforced errors. “It was very good for my career … he gave me seven games.” Federer next plays the winner of Tuesday’s late match between South Korea’s Lee Hyung-taik and Germany’s Florian Mayer. Former No. 2-ranked Tommy Haas, who upset Federer in the Kooyong exhibition last week, had a 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 win over 14th-seeded Richard Gasquet. Gasquet was one of only four players to beat Federer in 2005. No. 12 Dominik Hrbaty beat Austria’s Oliver Marach 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 and Juan Ignacio Chela ousted Andy Murray 6-1, 6-3, 6-3, leaving Britain without a player in the second round at Melbourne Park. Women’s No. 2 Kim Clijsters beat South Korea’s Cho Yoon-jeong 6-3, 6-0, winning the past 11 games after dropping serve twice. Clijsters showed signs of being bothered by a left hip strain that forced her out of the Sydney International last week. French women Mary Pierce and Amelie Mauresmo advanced in contrasting fashion. Fifth-seeded Pierce, the 1995 Australian Open champion and a finalist at the French and U.S. Opens last season, breezed past local wild-card entry Nicole Pratt 6-1, 6-1 in 52 minutes. Mauresmo, winner of the season-ending WTA Championship in November, struggled at times in a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over China’s Sun Tiantian, a doubles gold medalist at the Athens Olympics. She was broken three times in the two-hour match and converted only six of her 15 breakpoint chances, starting 0-6 until she got her breakthrough in the second set. “It’s two months now since we finished The Championships. I guess it’s tough to keep the momentum going when you have such a long period between these two big events without having competition,” Mauresmo said. Seventh-seeded Patty Schnyder beat Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 6-4, 6-3 and No. 12 Anastasia Myskina, the 2004 French Open champion, beat Yuliana Myskina 7-6 (6), 6-1. Defending champion Serena Williams got a bit of a scare in the second set before dispatching 52nd-ranked Li Na of China 6-3, 6-7 (1), 6-2. Williams, on a 15-match winning streak at Melbourne Park after winning the title in 2003 and ’05 and skipping the ’04 tournament, will play Camille Pin in the next round. Pironkova, an 18-year-old Bulgarian ranked No. 94 entering the tournament, will play American Laura Granville. Among the men, No. 2-seeded Andy Roddick, his big serve producing only seven aces, downed Michael Lammer of Switzerland 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. Masters Cup champion David Nalbandian overcame Thai qualifier Danai Udomchoke 6-2, 6-2, 1-6, 6-7 (4), 6-1. Other men advancing were No. 7 Ivan Ljubicic, No. 11 David Ferrer, No. 17 Radek Stepanek, No. 18 Mario Ancic and No. 20 James Blake. Taylor Dent, Carlos Moya and Tim Henman were ousted. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The overwhelming favorite for the title, Federer lost only one point on his serve in the second set until he made three uncharacteristic, erratic errors to give Istomin the break in the second-to-last game. Federer drew a near-capacity crowd to Rod Laver Arena for the first match of the day. While the crowd was cheering for Istomin to mount a comeback and extend the match for a while, Federer finished it off with a service winner, then basked in a standing ovation.