Tennis: Federer & Sharapova storm into Australian Open second round

Russia's Maria Sharapova during her first round match against Japan's Nao Hibino at the Australian Open on Jan 18, 2016.
Russia's Maria Sharapova during her first round match against Japan's Nao Hibino at the Australian Open on Jan 18, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS
Switzerland's Roger Federer during his match against Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashivili at the 2016 Australian Open on Jan 18, 2016.
Switzerland's Roger Federer during his match against Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashivili at the 2016 Australian Open on Jan 18, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS, AFP) - A rampaging Roger Federer kicked off his 17th Australian Open campaign with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 demolition of Georgian battler Nikoloz Basilashvili to reach the second round on Monday.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion shone under the lights of Rod Laver Arena to wrap up the match in one hour and 12 minutes, putting on a clinic of clean hitting.

Federer struck 31 winners in the one-sided rout to preserve his perfect record of surviving the opening round at the year's first Grand Slam.

The world No. 3 will next play Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Meanwhile, fifth-seed Maria Sharapova crushed Japan's Nao Hibino in a ruthless first-round display as she fired a warning to her rivals.

The Russian, attempting to win her first title at Melbourne Park since 2008, was in blistering form to take the match 6-1, 6-3 in 73 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.