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First serves

Faro-born Portuguese tennis No1 Rui Machado is struggling to find his form ahead of Monday’s start to the Australian Open.

The 26-year-old world No93 was beaten by Alejandro Falla in the first round of both the Chennai and Sydney Opens.

In contrast, Davis Cup team mate Frederico Gil is enjoying a great run Down Under defeating Dudi Sela, Marinko Matosevic, Simon Greul and Jarkko Nieminen at the last mentioned and still ongoing ATP 250 World Tour event.

Elsewhere, Swiss duo Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka as well as Robin Soderling demonstrated their readiness for the first Grand Slam of the year by winning tournaments in Doha, Madras and Brisbane respectively.