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Nadal and Federer are in the same half of the draw at a major for the first time since 2005.

Third-seeded Federer started his bid for a 17th major title with a 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 win over Alexander Kudryavtsev of Russia, showing no signs of a back problem which forced him out of a Doha tournament earlier this month. He then just as quickly batted away any notion of a simmering feud with Nadal. Ever the statesman, Federer conceded that players differed on ways of resolving certain issues and “things are fine between us … We can’t always agree on everything.”

Mardy Fish, the highest-ranked of the American men, opened with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller.

Defending champion Kim Clijsters beat Portuguese qualifier Maria Joao Koehler 7-5, 6-1 and didn’t seem troubled by the hip spasms that caused her to retire during the Brisbane International semifinals. Li Na, who lost to Clijsters in last year’s Australian final but rebounded to win the French Open, defeated Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-1.

Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki had to wait until last match on Rod Laver Arena to get her tournament under way and test the left wrist she hurt in Sydney last week. She wasted little time dispatching Australia’s Anastasia Rodionova 6-2, 6-1.

“I got a bit nervous about my wrist, but I am happy I could play full out tonight,” she said.