Bring the heat, says all-seasons Federer

08:25, Jan 15 2013
Australian Open 2013
Janko Tipsarevic celebrates his straight sets win over Lleyton Hewitt in the first round.
Australian Open 2013
Ana Ivanovic celebrates a point during her match against Melinda Czink.
Australian Open 2013
A packed house shows up to watch local Lleyton Hewitt's first round match at Rod Laver Arena.
Australian Open 2013
Lleyton Hewitt's returns a point during his loss to Janko Tipsarevic.
Australian Open 2013
David Ferrer lies on court after throwing himself at a point during his first round win over Olivier Rochus.
Australian Open 2013
Fan show their home town support on day one.
Australian Open 2013
Maria Sharapova serves during her first round win.
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Novak Djokovic on his way to a first round straight sets victory.
Australian Open
Caroline Wozniacki in action during her first round match against Sabine Lisicki.
Australian Open
Andy Murray returns a shot against Robin Haase on day two of the Australian Open.
Serena Williams
Chair umpire Kerrilyn Cramer comes to the aid of Serena Williams after she fell heavily during her match against Romanian Edina Gallovits-Hall.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer during his first round match against Benoit Paire of France.
Australian Open
Bernard Tomic keeps his eye on the ball.
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Melbourne Park is lit up for the night session on day two.
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Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia does the splits in her first round match against Yanina Wickmayer.
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Gael Monfils celebrates a point during his first round match.
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Fans scramble for signatures from Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro.
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No 1 seed Victoria Azarenka in action on day two.
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Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland hits a return to Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania.
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Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain hits a return to compatriot Nicolas Almagro during their men's singles match at the Australian Open.
Nishikori
Kei Nishikori of Japan plays a backhand in his second round match against Carlos Berlocq of Argentina.
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Jerzy Janowicz exploded in rage after losing a 79-minute set to India’s Somdev Devvarman.
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Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic plays a backhand in his second round match against Guillaume Rufin of France.
Sam Stosur
Sam Stosur exits Rod Laver Arena after her second round defeat to China's Zheng Jie
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Maria Sharapova waits for a serve from Japan's Misaki Doi during her second round roll-over.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic lost just six games as he cruised to a straight sets victory over American Ryan Harrison.
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Heather Watson of Great Britain celebrates with fans after her second round singles win.
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Bob and Mike Bryan perform their trademark chest bump after winning their opening doubles match.
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Victoria Azarenka of Belarus plays a backhand in her second round match against Eleni Daniilidou of Greece.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga plays a backhand in his second round match against Go Soeda of Japan.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams of the United States of America plays a backhand in her second round match against Garbine Muguruza of Spain.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray plays a forehand in his second round match against Joao Sousa of Portugal during day four of the 2013 Australian Open
Bernard Tomic
Bernard Tomic recovered from losing a first set tie-breaker to defeat German qualifier Daniel Brands in four sets.
Roger Federer
Roger Federer picked up early breaks in each set to defeat Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets in Melbourne.
Roger Federer
The pink and black shoes of Roger Federer.
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Stefan 'Redfoo' Gordy of the American electro duo LMFAO attends the MLC Hotshots session at the Australian Open.
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Angelique Kerber of Germany hits a return to Madison Keys of the US.
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Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland plays a forehand in her third round match against Heather Watson of Great Britain.
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Maria Sharapova celebrates her 6-1, 6-3 victory over Venus Williams.
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Tomas Berdych returns a shot during his match against Jurgen Melzer.
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Ana Ivanovic pumps her fist after beating fellow Serbian Jelena Jankovic.
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Novak Djokovic is at full strength during his win over Radek Stepanek.
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Jamie Hampton celebrates winning the second set during her women's singles match against Victoria Azarenka.
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Victoria Azarenka hits a return to Jamie Hampton.
Michael Chardy
Frenchman, world number 36, Michael Chardy lines up the ball in his Australia Open third round victory over sixth-seed Juan Martin del Potro.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray exclaims his satisfaction at beating Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania in the third round of the Australian Open.
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Gael Monfils is doubled over with exhaustion during his epic third round match against Gilles Simon.
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Bernard Tomic and Roger Federer share a pat on the back after their third round match.
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Serena and Venus Williams whisper tactics during their second round doubles match.
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Caroline Wozniacki returns a shot during her third round win.
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David Ferrer of Spain serves to Kei Nishikori of Japan during their men's singles match at the Australian Open.
Australian Open 2013
David Ferrer of of Spain plays a forehand in his fourth round match against Kei Nishikori.
Ekaterina Makarova of Russia hits a return to Angelique Kerber of Germany during their women's singles match at the Australian Open
Ekaterina Makarova of Russia hits a return to Angelique Kerber of Germany during their women's singles match at the Australian Open.
Australian Open 2013
Angelique Kerber of Germany receives medical treatment during her women's singles match against Ekaterina Makarova.
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Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return to Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium.
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Maria Sharapova (right) of Russia after her fourth round match against Kirsten Flipkens.
Agnieszka Radwanska
Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland celebrates defeating Ana Ivanovic of Serbia during their women's singles match at the Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic celebrates after his five-hour, two-minute five-set victory over Stanislas Wawrinka in the fourth round at the Australian Open.
Ana Ivanovic
Ana Ivanovic is certain she is in good form despite exiting yet another major before the quarter-finals.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova has lost just five games in her four wins at this year's Australian Open.
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ictoria Azarenka of Belarus hits a return to Elena Vesnina of Russia during their women's singles match at the Australian Open.
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Victoria Azarenka of Belarus (right) kisses Elena Vesnina of Russia after defeating her in their women's singles match at the Australian Open.
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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates making it into the quarter finals of the Australian Open.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray of Britain celebrates defeating Gilles Simon of France.
Serena Williams
Serena Williams of the US serves to Maria Kirilenko of Russia.
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Roger Federer of Switzerland serves to Milos Raonic of Canada.
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Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates winning the second set during his men's singles match against Milos Raonic.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray signs autographs after his fourth round victory over Frenchman Gilles Simon.
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Li Na celebrates her win over fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska.
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Nicolas Almagro of Spain (L) congratulates compatriot David Ferrer after Ferrer won their men's singles quarter-final.
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David Ferrer of Spain reacts during his men's singles quarter-final match against compatriot Nicolas Almagro.
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Ekaterina Makarova of Russia plays a backhand in her Quarterfinal match against Maria Sharapova.
Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return to compatriot Ekaterina Makarova.
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Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates defeating Ekaterina Makarova.
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Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates defeating Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic.
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Serena Williams does the splits during her quarterfinals loss to compatriot Sloane Stephens.
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Sloane Stephens of the US (R) shakes hands with compatriot Serena Williams after defeating her in their women's singles quarter-final match.
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Victoria Azarenka of Belarus celebrates winning her Quarterfinal match against Svetlana Kuznetsova.
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Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia looks on after falling in her Quarterfinal match against Victoria Azarenka.
Andy Murray  celebrates his win over Jeremy Chardy.
Andy Murray celebrates his win over Jeremy Chardy.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray during his match against Jeremy Chardy.
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga of France reacts in his Quarterfinal match against Roger Federer.
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Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a backhand in his Quarterfinal match against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga.
Li Na
Li Na swept Maria Sharapova aside 6-2 6-2 in the first semifinal at the Australian Open.
Maria Sharapova
It was not Maria Sharapova's day, winning just four games in a straight sets loss to Li Na.
Victoria Azarenka
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus plays a backhand in her Semifinal match against Sloane Stephens of the United States.
Sloane Stephens
Sloane Stephens of the United States of America plays a backhand in her Semifinal match against Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return to David Ferrer of Spain.
David Ferrer
David Ferrer of Spain reacts during his men's singles semi-final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia.
Andy Murray
Andy Murray missed a chance to serve out the match in the fourth set, but finished off Roger Federer in the fifth.
Roger Federer
A dejected Roger Federer during his post-match press conference.
Victoria Azarenka
Victoria Azarenka bursts into tears after defeating Li Na for back-to-back Australian Open titles.
Victoria Azarenka
Belarusian Victoria Azarenka kisses the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup in the locker room as women's singles champion.
Li Na
China's Li Na grimaces after injuring her left ankle during the Australian Open women's final.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic celebrates winning a point during his Australian Open final victory over Andy Murray.

Searing heat forecast to hit Melbourne Park's second round matches on Thursday holds no fear for Roger Federer, who welcomed the chance to test his 31-year-old body in extreme conditions.

The Swiss maestro played his opening match of the Australian Open in far gentler weather today, trouncing France's Benoit Paire 6-2 6-4 6-1 on a sun-drenched afternoon at Rod Laver Arena.

Former players and pundits have cast doubts on Federer's ability to handle a marathon in draining heat at Melbourne Park, particularly against the likes of the ultra-fit Novak Djokovic and his fellow 25-year-old Andy Murray.

Federer, who will play Israeli qualifier Dudi Sela or former world number three Nikolay Davydenko in 39 degrees Celsius heat forecast for Thursday, said he was not concerned about the weather.

"Obviously [it] has a big effect, but I'm not worried about the heat in any way," he told reporters.

"I have practised and played so many matches over the years in a lot of heat. I almost favour myself over my opponent in the heat.

"Obviously when you get the hot match, you try not to stay out there for too long. But then again, if you have to, that's what it is, you know. That's part of the game.

"It can be maybe an advantage for me or for my opponent, so we'll see how it goes and we'll get to see with the scheduling."

John McEnroe questioned second seed Federer's ability to overcome champion Djokovic and twice finalist Murray in a long match in the heat this week.

Swede Mats Wilander, a three-times champion at Melbourne Park, agreed with the American great's assessment.

"I don't think that he can match them (in the heat), but I think he is the master at dealing with the unexpected," seven-times grand slam champion Wilander told Reuters at Melbourne Park on Tuesday.

"If you're thinking Novak and Andy, at some point they're going to just get ahead of him a little bit."

Federer also shrugged off doubts about a lack of competition in his preparations for the year's first grand slam, needing only 83 minutes to despatch 46th-ranked Paire, the Swiss's first official match since playing the ATP Tour Finals in November.

The 17-times grand slam champion, bidding for a fifth title at Melbourne Park, eschewed all competition in the leadup in favour of working on his game on the practice courts.

Little rust was evident, however, as Federer compiled 25 sweetly-struck winners in a match more akin to a clinical training session.

The lessons were lost on Paire, however, who admitted to feeling clueless as to how to fight back.

"It's tough. I don't know what to do against him," the Frenchman said.

"I don't know (how to handle) his serving or his returning. For me, I can do nothing."

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Reuters