Defending champion Roger Federal started high in his title defense against Aljaz Bedene after beating the Slovanian 6-3 6-4 6-3 in Rod Laver Arena to reach the Australian Open second round in Melbourne.
Contrary to how he felt after arriving Melbourne 12 months ago especially knowing what to expect from himself after six-month without any competitive game to recuperate his knee injury, this time around the second seeded Federer is confident in all the abilities he’s got to progress to the finals in this tournament.
Bedene, the former Briton, had a good game to himself but it was not good enough to overcome the 19 time grand slam champion.
Federer got the win in 99 minutes and will face Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff next.
The 36-year-old swiss has admitted he fears he is in for disappointment this year after the supreme high of 12 months ago, when he defeated top seed Rafael Nadal in an epic five-set final.
“Last year was so good I’m just worried I know it won’t be,”. ‘Guys are coming back, Rafa seems to be in tip-top shape. But last year will always be in the vault.” he said.
The Swiss maestro will be looking to win his 20th grand slam title in melbourn.
Six-time champion Novak Djokovic with a new coach in Radek Stepanek returned to action for the first time since Wimbledon after lengthy elbow injury, with an expected win over Donald Young, ripping the American 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in just 111 minutes, sending a warning to the rest of his contenders at this year’s Australian Open.
“It feels so great to be back on the tennis court, there is no better place for me to start playing after six months of injury, I love it here,” said Djokovic.
“It has been a long period without tennis for me. I had a lot on my hands with my new baby.
“I was absent for one month maximum ever since I started so it was different. The injury was with me for a while and it escalated around Roland Garros and Wimbledon, but it allowed me to spend more time with my family.
Going further, the said “The first match after six months you don’t know how you are going to start. I came onto the court with the right emotion. I didn’t know a month ago if my elbow would allow me to compete.’
Meanwhile, Alexander Zverev saw off Thomas Fabbiano in straight sets to progress into the second round at the Rod Laver Arena.
The world number four claimed the first set 6-1 in a dominant start to his second Australian Open appearance as he barely allowed Fabbiano a chance, then he went ahead winning the second and third set 7-5 7-5, hardly giving Fabbiano a sniff.
Zverev next game will be against his compatriot Peter Gojowczyk as he looks to improve on his debut appearance at the Australian Open last year, where he got to the third round of the tournament.
In other games, 32-year-old Stan Wawrinka, the 2014 champion, also marking his return from ia lengthy spell by seeing off Berankis 6-3 6-4 2-6 7-6 (7-2).The Swiss who reached the semi-finals in 2017, needed close to three hours to secure into the next round game against Tennys Sandgren.
“It was a tough battle and I’m really happy to win my first match here after six months out,” said the Swiss.
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