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Federer cruises in Australia

Roger Federer easily beat Marat Safin in the Australian Open men's final to win his second Grand Slam title, his first at Melbourne Park.

No. 2 seed Federer, already assured of the No. 1 ranking for the first time, beat the unseeded Russian 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, 6-2 at Rod Laver Arena to add to the Wimbledon title he won last year.

Federer became the first man to win Wimbledon and the Australian Open in the subsequent year since Pete Sampras in 1994. His victory also broke the longest streak of changing men's champions in the Open era after the past eight majors produced eight winners.

Safin, who ended Andre Agassi's 26-match win streak in Melbourne in the semifinals, was bidding to become the first unseeded champion since Mark Edmondson in 1976. Safin lost to Thomas Johansson in four sets in the Australian final two years ago.

With the roof open at Rod Laver Arena, the opening set was played under mostly overcast skies and no wind.

Part of Safin's plan was to attack Federer's second serve, and that helped him break Federer in the third game. Federer broke Safin back in the next game, with Safin's backhand into the net allowing Federer to even the set at 2.

After holding serve Federer broke Safin again to go up 4-2. Federer faced two break points in his next service game, and Safin prevailed when Federer sent a backhand into the net.

In the 10th game of the set Federer came within two points of winning the set on Safin's serve, before Safin held on.

With Federer up 6-5, Safin fell behind 0-30 when he hit a backhand into the net, again allowing the Swiss player to come within two points of taking the set. He handed Federer two set points with a backhand into the net, but the game went to deuce on unforced errors by Federer, the second a backhand into the net.

Safin finally held two points later to send the set to a tiebreaker that Federer won on a strong backhand to the open court.

Loud, booming music could be heard throughout the match from a rock concert at a nearby park. Early in the second set, chair umpire Mike Morrissey of Britain told both players that it would likely continue for the duration of the match.

Federer held his serve to win the final game of the 40-minute second set. Federer, who attained the No. 1 ranking when he beat Juan Carlos Ferrero in the semifinals, had no problems in the third set, dropping to his knees briefly when he finally won.

Safin was injured most of last year and did not win a match after May. He played in only 13 events and his ranking slipped to 66, the first time since 1997 that he finished outside the top 50. Ranked 86th coming into the tournament, he could have improved to the mid 20s with a win.

MIXED DOUBLES: Elena Bovina and Nenad Zimonjic, teaming for the first time, beat defending champs Martina Navratilova and Leander Paes to win the title. Russian right-hander Bovina and Zimonjic, from Serbia-Montenegro, ended Navratilova's hope of a 10th Grand Slam mixed doubles title with a 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) center-court victory in 1 hour, 9 minutes. Navratilova has said she will retire after this year.

MEN'S DOUBLES: Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro celebrated their win by stripping to their underwear and throwing their clothes and towels to the crowd at Rod Laver Arena. The Frenchmen kept their title by beating American twins Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.

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