Roger cruised into round three of the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Evgeny Korolev. He will next face another Russian in Marat Safin, who beat him in the 2005 semifinals.

"I'm happy to be playing Marat," Roger said. "We've had some battles over the years."

Today's victory saw our champ move above Boris Becker into seventh place for the most open era grand slam match wins with a 165-25 win-loss record. The first set took just 28 minutes as Roger got two early breaks, thanks largely to the 20-year-old's 15 unforced errors, to go 5-1 up and then claim the first set 6-2. His opponent showed plenty of tenacity and at times a little audacity, to extend the rallies but ultimately it was futile. The second set went with serve until the eighth game when Roger got the breakthrough and then served out for the set and he broke the Russian twice early in the third to race to a 4-0 lead. Korolev held to make it 4-1 but with the youngster's unforced error count mounting Roger closed out the game with ease in one hour 27 minutes.

Roger has beaten Safin nine times but lost out in a classic semi-final at Melbourne Park in 2005, when the Russian claimed the title.


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