Roger Federer made a quick start in Melbourne Monday night, easily defeating Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-2 6-1 6-2, in just 1 hour 12 minutes. The Swiss maestro was pleased with his efficient play, as well as being back to normal health, after dealing with a flu bug at the start of the month. On court, he fired six aces, winning 92% of points on his first serve. The 4-time Australian Open champion made his way to net when he needed to, winning 12 of 18 points.
Behind 31 winners, the 34-year-old Swiss was comfortably aggressive on returns, converting 8 of 14 break point opportunities. The road of ease is at an end however, as his second round is against the formidable Alexandr Dolgopolov.
After the match, Federer spoke about his first round as well as the challenges Dolgopolov will present on Wednesday.
“That was a good match,” he said. “I’m really pleased how I was able to play. Definitely gives me a bit of a lift in confidence, you know, because this year I haven’t been able to play properly yet. I mean, I had some decent matches in Brisbane, but it was all under, you know, sort of a cloud knowing that I wasn’t 100 per cent.” “But this was a match where I was able to focus, you know, on my game, on tactics, all that stuff. So it was nice to play that way.”
“I think it’s going to be very tough, to be honest,” said Federer. “I’ve practiced with Dolgopolov in the off-season in Dubai. Had some great practice sessions together there, this year and last year. I know him very well. This is going to be a different challenge than the first round. This was more of an unexperienced player today, but still dangerous and still a good player.”
“But Dolgopolov is a different player, a different level. He’s been there before. He’s got the fitness, the power, the speed, tennis IQ, all that. It’s going to be a big challenge.” “I’m curious to find out if it’s going to be day or night because that plays a big part in how it plays out. I feel it plays very different day to night, the conditions. Yeah, I’m ready for a very tough match, to be quite honest.”
Sweeping the tournament on day one of the 2016 Australian Open was a breaking story regarding evidence of match-fixing in tennis, from BBC and BuzzFeed News. Some players in action Monday were asked about the reveling news. Novak Djokovic addressed the media in his press conference, entailing that he was offered approximately $200,000 to lose a first round match in 2007, which he flat-out rejected. Federer was also asked about the supposed evidence dug out by the BBC and BuzzFeed News.
“I would love to hear names,” the 17-time Grand Slam champ told reporters at the Australian Open. “Then at least it’s concrete stuff and you can actually debate about it. Was it the player? Was it the support team? Who was it? Was it before? Was it a doubles player, a singles player? Which slam?’”
Source: Australian Open
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