Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Roger Federer dominant in first match of Australian Open


Roger Federer was in ruthless form on Monday evening in Melbourne as he surged through to the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili in just 72 minutes.

The Basel native rifled 31 winners to just nine from his opponent and converted eight of his 14 break points.

"That was a good match," said Federer. "I'm really pleased how I was able to play. Definitely gives me a bit of a lift in confidence because this year I haven't been able to play properly yet. I had some decent matches in Brisbane, but it was all under a cloud knowing that I wasn't 100 per cent.

"But this was a match where I was able to focus on my game, on tactics, all that stuff. So it was nice to play that way."

The 34-year-old Federer is looking to become the third man in history to win five Australian Open titles, following Roy Emerson (six) and Novak Djokovic (five). The Swiss lifted the trophy at Melbourne Park in 2004 (d. Safin), 2006 (d. Baghdatis), 2007 (d. Gonzalez) and 2010 (d. Murray); he also finished runner-up in 2009 (l. to Nadal).

Federer opened his 2016 campaign in Brisbane, where he battled through the flu to reach his 136th tour-level final, finishing runner-up to Milos Raonic.

American teenager Noah Rubin claimed his first tour-level win in style as he withstood 18 aces to stun 17th seed Benoit Paire 7-6(4), 7-6(6), 7-6(5) in two hours and 31 minutes.

At No. 328 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, the wild card is the first player ranked outside the Top 300 to beat a seed at a Grand Slam since No. 478 Fernando Gonzalez defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov in Wimbledon 2011.

The 19-year-old Rubin, who won the USTA's Australian Open Wild Card Challenge to make his debut in Melbourne, goes on to face French qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who beat Pablo Andujar 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-2.

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