Tennis

Plenty left in the tank, says Roger Federer

Showing ruthless form, Swiss veteran knocks out Krajinovic to reach 3rd round

Swiss master Roger Federer said he had "plenty left in the tank" as he kept intact his 20-year record of reaching at least the third round of the Australian Open after crushing Serb Filip Krajinovic yesterday.

The six-time champion first played at Melbourne Park in 2000 and has gone on to make the semi-finals or better on 14 occasions, with no exits before round three.

The 38-year-old third seed dominated the 41st-ranked Krajinovic 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena, stretching his record over him to 4-0.

Federer, who is bidding for a seventh title to match Novak Djokovic's record, and his first since 2018, came into the tournament without playing a warm-up event but has nevertheless looked ominous.

"Very happy, been a great start to the season," he said as he moved closer to a 21st Grand Slam title.

"I feel really relaxed on court. I've trained hard and you always hope it pays off."

Asked if he felt sorry for Krajinovic, he replied: "I do feel a bit sorry, but you've got to take advantage of it."

Over his two matches this year, Federer has dropped just 13 games, and admitted he preferred easy early encounters rather than tough battles to preserve energy.

"I prefer this much more than overcooked. As easy as it looks, there's always the effort, trying to extend the lead," he said.

"Of course, it's not quite the same stress level if you're down a set or a break or two sets, whatever it may be. I prefer it this way because you have always extra left in the tank if you need it."

He faces a tougher rival next in Australian John Millman, who beat him in four tough sets at the 2018 US Open.

"He's fit like a fiddle. I've lost to him in the past... he's from this country so naturally also it's going to be different intensity. I think this is going to be a good test for me."

Meanwhile, defending champion Djokovic credited a newly refined serve for his eight-game unbeaten streak this season after he romped past Japanese wildcard Tatsuma Ito.

The Serb conceded just seven games to the world No. 146 in the 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 workout which lasted just 95 minutes.

Djokovic has been taking tips from serving maestro Goran Ivanisevic and fired down 16 aces against Ito.

For the second time in three years, American Tennys Sandgren defied his lowly ranking to send a top-10 seed out of the second round.

The unseeded player defeated eighth seed Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (9/7), 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 7-5. - AFP


AUSTRALIAN OPEN SECOND-ROUND RESULTS (Selected)

Men's singles:

  • Novak Djokovic (x2) bt Tatsuma Ito 6-1, 6-4, 6-2
  • Roger Federer (x3) bt Filip Krajinovic 6-1, 6-4, 6-1
  • Tennys Sandgren bt M. Berrettini (x8) 7-6 (9/7), 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 7-5
  • Marin Cilic bt Benoit Paire (x21) 6-2, 6-7 (6/8), 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (10/3)

Women's singles:

  • Ashleigh Barty (x1) bt Polona Hercog 6-1, 6-4
  • Naomi Osaka (x3) bt Zheng Saisai 6-2, 6-4
  • Serena Williams (x8) bt Tamara Zidansek 6-2, 6-3
  • Madison Keys (x10) bt Arantxa Rus 7-6 (7/3), 6-2
Tennis