Federer Makes Winning Start at 2018 Australian Open – Roger Federer walked onto Rod Laver Arena on a fine Tuesday evening as the defending champion, and sure played like it. With his serve unbroken throughout the match, he looked comfortable from start to finish, defeating world #49 Aljaz Bedene 6-3 6-4 6-3 in 1 hour 39 minutes. On display was much of the speedy service games, quick serve and volley winners, and dazzling groundstrokes from the baseline that fans have been accustomed to seeing from the Swiss maestro. Coming into the tournament, he commented on how a 36-year-old should not be considered the favorite, downplaying his chances and perhaps the pressure, to win his 20th grand slam.
On court however, the 5-time Australian Open champion fired 12 aces to 3 double faults, winning 78% of points on first serve and 61% on his second serve. Federer hit 41 winners to 32 unforced errors for the match, while winning 26 of 36 points (72%) at net. He will face Jan-Lennard Struff in the second round on Thursday at Melbourne Park. Temperatures are expected to rise significantly in the later part of this week.
Federer after the match, in his on-court interview with John McEnroe: “I’m hoping for it to go well again; I’m just not sure if it can go this well.” he said. “Last year was just so good that I’m just worried. I kind of know it won’t be [as good]: I’m a year older, guys are coming back again – Rafa’s in tip-top shape. I can’t control it all.
“And last year was a fairytale. And last year was last year. That’s the problem, but that’s the beauty of it. [Last year], it’s always going to be there, it’s the favourite year of my career. So this year I’m just hoping to stay healthy, stay out there, give myself chances and hopefully be in those big matches like last year so that I can play my very best and enjoy myself out there in front of a big crowd, keep working hard and see what happens at the end.”
Federer Makes Winning Start at 2018 Australian Open