Australian OpenGrand SlamsRoger Federer

Federer Up and Running in Melbourne With Straight Sets Victory

A routine start at the Australian Open for Roger Federer as he took down Aljaz Bedene 6-3 6-4 6-3 to reach the second round in Melbourne. The Swiss produced a solid opening display landing 72% of first serves and saving both break points he faced during the encounter to win through in 1 hour and 39 minutes.

Bedene, who is now winless in six appearances in Melbourne made a solid account of himself but was behind the eight ball from the off as he slipped down an early break in a 29-minute opening set and was unable to trouble the defending champion who goes on to face Jan-Lennard Struff in the second round.

Quick Match Recap


Bedene won the toss and elected to receive. Roger promptly served up a 1 minute special to hold to love for 1-0. The Swiss then dispatched a weak Bedene serve to serve set the tone and although the Slovenian held Roger broke in game four to lead 3-1. The break was quickly consolidated thanks to a skyhook smash and it was soon 6-3 in just 29 minutes.

Frontrunning has certainly been Federer's forte over the last 15 years and he got off to the peRFect start in set 2, breaking in the opening game and although he was forced to save two break back points in game four he held firm to take the set 6-4 after Bedene had saved three set points on his own serve at 3-5.

Set three was more of the same with Roger fully in charge, hitting a crisp forehand to break for 2-1 and rolling through his services games before finishing off Bedene with another break of serve to take the third set 6-3.

Match Stats

Aces 2 12
Double faults 5 3
First serve % in 56 72
Win % in 1st serve 70% (35/50) 78% (45/58)
Win % in 2nd serve 45% (18/40) 61% (14/23)
Breakpoints won % 0% (0/2 31% 4/13
Winners 21 41
Unforced Errors 25 32
Net Points Won 62% (8/13) 72% (26/36)
Total points won 75 96
Fastest serve 184kmh 190kmh
SABR 0 0


Thoughts on the Match

Fed AO Shoes

A comfortable win here and Roger played a steady away match. Nothing spectacular but it didn't need to be and you felt he had Bedene at arm's length from the word go. John McEnroe made a good point in the commentary that Bedene is like a poor mans Seppi and that's a pretty good comparison. Like Seppi, he's a sweet ball striker off both wings, moves well and makes a lot of balls but there's no standout shot to really bag free points when he needs them. It's all very workmanlike stuff and nice enough to watch but the Top 10 guys need to have bad days to really come unstuck with what the former Brit is able to serve up.

Stats wise it' all makes good reading, 3 double faults quite high for Fed's standard but Bedene did return well in the 2nd and 3rd sets for periods so it wasn't a totally pressure free serving day when trying to maintain a break of serve.

Finally — the on-court interview after the match was truly painful to watch. As if John McEnroe isn't hard enough work on his own, they wheeled out Will Ferrell as well 🙁 . Has Fed ever looked more uncomfortable?! The initial J-Mac interview itself was bad enough with zero questions about the match Roger had just played but Ferrell managed to make it even more of a shitshow with a string of weird, unfunny questions that even the crowd were struggling to raise a smile to.

Predictions vs.Struff

Next up is Jan-Lennard Struff who defeated Australian Open Wildcard Playoff winner Kwon Soon-woo in straight sets. He's not as clean a ball striker or as good a mover as Bedene but he does hit harder and serve bigger so he'll pose different problems. The German fired down 19 aces in his win so Fed will need to have a good returning day if he's to canter through like today. I wouldn't be overly surprised to see a tie-break in the mix but I think Fed comes through in three straight sets.

What did you guys think of Roger's opener? Predictions vs. Struff? Let me know in the comments.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. Looking from the stats pretty high UEs, maybe also due to quality of his opponent. Bedene is a clean ball striker and good mover but good thing Roger manage to keep him at bay. 1st match is always tricky and glad he is through with little fuss. 6 more matches to go…Go Roger!!

    1. Yeah he played a good match. I was trolling on Twitter saying he’s a pillow puncher, but Bedene is better than any other GB players at the moment, barring Edmund who at least has big weapons…

  2. Haha, Roger on court and me at home were both hoping the so called interview by Will would end asap 🙂 🙂

  3. Anyone remember AO 2007 R1? It was against Bjorn Phou or something I think and I remember watching Fed play the 1st set. So many UEs and all over the place. At the time I felt like how is he going to win with this type of form.

    I think we can forget abt the UEs. He will get better at that. Sometimes Fed goes for shots to see if he can make them on this court. R1 is all about feeling the court, conditions and your own game among all that.

    1. Bjorn Phau. Didn’t watch it. But just looked at score, included a bagel set so must have been ok 🙂

      Phau was actually pretty good, remember his match at USO 2012, think he retired after that. Short but speedy.

  4. Very quick recap, Jon, thanks. It’d only just occurred to me to wonder whether you’d done a write-up yet.

    Roger’s played Struff before (2016?), so it won’t be unknown territory, at least.

    1. (I wish this blog had an Edit button! I’m always hitting Send and then thinking of more). At least Roger doesn’t look as much like an Allsort in *his* Nike outfit, but it’s still not pretty.

      BTW, anyone else hate the AO website? Where on earth has the SlamTracker gone? I kept having to scroll up and down and up and down to see how matches were going. Horrible.

      1. I agree Alison, the AO site sucks. The way everything is set up, too much space around the matches, etc. The app keeps crashing on my phone. Where’s Jonathan when you need him! I also noticed on the ATP site, they said Roger had x # of match wins in 2018 and that he won 20 GSs. Proof read much?

        Yes, the design staff at Nike should all be canned. Hate the all pink and black, yuck. A few players look nice, ie Pospisil.

        I haven’t had a chance to see the match yet but sounds like a delight to watch. And, Katyani, I need to check out the interview. Did they make Roger twirl at the end to show off his new gear?

    2. Ye Fed played Struff Halle 2016 in pre-Wimbledon comeback. Was a tight match.

      Aus Open and IBM are no longer partners so Slam Tracker is no more for that event. Annoying as the stats collected are not as good.

  5. Routine win. Nice moving around the court and lethal cross court forehand “outside-even_more_out”).
    As for the outfit: appalling, that is. Looks like a cheap pajama and drapes like a worn bedsheet. Terrible colours. Awful shoes, socks even worse. Nike is my personal top 1 in bad taste for tennis outfits, and it’s not from yesterday.
    Adidas a close second. Asics close third. Lotto is fine, Lacoste is timeless.
    But if an ugly costume brings home the trophy, who cares, really?…

    1. Yeah I’m not a huge fan of any of the Nike gear this year. Women’s looks crap too. Svitolina looked terrible in hers, a stocky, frumpy thing tbh.

      Dimitrov’s liquorice allsort is just as bad.

      Yonex are a good shout, best racquets and pretty decent outfits.

  6. Nice start by Rog tho ufe’s high. Outfit ok, shirts too baggy but love the shoes!
    Btw, what’s with the Happy Slam, crap app, crap website, MC rubbish still going on and now the Player Council Stuff! Let’s just talk tennis! And that includes the comms, JMac etc who never stop talking about Roger’s age!
    Anyway, on to Struff who yes will be trickier, but count on Rog to get thru. And go away Will Ferrell! ???

  7. Well beauty is in the eye of the beholder they say.I thought he looked great,quite restful after all the ghastly pink.
    Nadals outfit is just plain awful.IMO!
    Roger played well as per Jonathan’s analysis.So did Berdych,my own pick for a surprise result here.However BAgut
    who I thought would do rather well got knocked out in the first round.So like Jon Snow’I Know nothing’.
    Ominously Del Potro dealt easily with Tiafoe.Hmmm.

  8. Susie,yes that interview was mega cringeworthy.Fed looked bemused,I don’t think he knew who the bloke was.
    The garrulous Macinroe is so skinny,looked like a black pipe leaner with an over large white head.Lol.

  9. Solid match. High % first serves which is always the most important part to kick start fed’s game. If the serve is working, the rest of his game flows freely. If he can keep his avg % at around the 65-70 during the tournament, he should go deep. One match at a time.
    Where is Jim Courier this year when you need him? Watching the interview on court hit home the point how classy and funny jim’s interviews on court really were. Terrible interview today smh

  10. One in the bag, 6 more to go! The outfit looked good, The serve looked rock solid, Fed himself looked happy running like a spring chicken if not a silky gazelle to Mr Ferrell’s eyes. The guy got our goat really 😆 Roger spoke well against him in spite of looking uncomfortable. We all miss Jim Courier, don’t we? Bye JM! Ah not you, Jonathan 😉

  11. Couldnt agree more with you J. as always a super quick and perfect write up from you as always. Well 2018 has kick started for us now.
    Strangely I already have my nerves kicking in and guess what I tuned in yo the highlights on youtube to have my usual Fed moments to enjoy in solidarity , with my earphones on (something I have done years maybe a decade now) and holy sheeks!! I ended reading comments about whose the GOAT , whats the surface like, whose stronger and the weak-era constitution talk!!
    I have to say that some of us fed fans make ourselves look like idiots. Geez its just R1 and we expect him to play lights out!?? A 60% fed even at his age is hood enough. He s been the master of using his energy and have his ultimate competitive juices flowing just at the right stage of a tourney especially at a grandslam. And btw I dont understand the sudden panic about the Aussie Open courts speeds? suddenly we are all so obssessed about it??

    From what I saw, it actually looks fast to me. I watched the Melzer match from last year (same date) and couldnt tell the difference. Federer himself that he didnt find any difference in courtspeed from last year (in his post match press) amd given its early days its only gonna get faster. Its not all court speed that decides Rogers fate, its primarily his health, energy levels and form that does it according to me. Remember as per atp data the CPR (courtspeed) levels for IW and Miami were well below 30 (slow-medium) last year and yet Federer still ends up crushing everyone there as compared to Aussie Open last year where RLA court was soaring at 44+ CPR (medium-fast) as recorded on the finals day. I’ed say that this court has to be above 36-37 CPR (even is its a ballpark figure) but its is only gonna quicken up (again – for all the ones worried about the court speed.

    See I am calm again. Calm as a gazelle !!

    *ping* wife texting…. honey you found your clonazepam?
    Me : Sheez I missed my dose for R1!


    1. [Federer himself that he didnt find any difference in courtspeed from last year (in his post match press)]
      Is this true?

      1. Yes sir! his post match press. I remember. The first question that was asked and he said it maybe twice “its the same as last year”.

      2. That’s good news then. Djokovic seems to be playing well suddenly. Wrist injury? No. More like getting doped up for a few months. Typical injury excuse. Fucking Serbian cheats.

  12. I think he’s looking good, moving well, mixing it up a lot. As others have said it’s the first round of a slam, he’ll be making mental notes on how the court is playing in match conditions. Thurs will be much hotter so that will be another test.

    Don’t say Seppi to me in the context of thinking an AO match will be not too bad!!!

    I don’t hate the front of the outfit, though as always I want it to have a collar; and I actually think it’s quite clever how they’ve picked up the stripe again in the socks, there are a couple of match photos that really bring that out. BUT YOU HAVE TO TIE IN THE BACK OF THE OUTFIT!!! As it is, it’s any old random white outfit from the back, or even in some side shots. Loop the stripe over the shoulder, for heaven’s sake- you could even kind of flutter it down towards the sock where it’s going to be picked up again. Oh, you say you want to save money by only having decoration on one side of the shirt? Well, that looks cheap, which I don’t think is what you’re going for; plus I detest the front-only pattern look to such an extent that I WILL NOT BUY such an outfit. (Sorry, end rant….)

    All of the usual suspects are looking ominously good to start. I did read that Stan wasn’t moving great in spite of his win. Remains to be seen if they’ve got the stamina for repeated long matches. For our guy, I think it’s a great start. He looks like he’s having a great time, & that always brings out the flowing tennis. Of course some of that will depend on his opponents – one at a time!

    1. Stan probably being careful. The scar on his knee is pretty big. I’m guessing the injury was pretty bad / potential career ender and surgery risky too…

      1. Remember “invisible scar” on Roger’s knee after surgery and his first comeback after one month. Stan’s injury and surgery must have been incomparably bad. Looks like after implantation of endoprosthesis of the knee joint. It allows performance sport, but preferably with not very high dynamic loads. Like tennis. I don’t see Stan coming back to his best.

      2. Fed had keyhole surgery so can’t see it.

        “Endoprosthesis of the knee” is a brand new knee, joint replacement. No way he’s playing tennis on an artificial knee. Scars in diff place as well from just Googling.

      3. I’m thinking I saw somewhere where Stan said something like, you should have seen what they did on the inside – it was almost to the point of being non-recuperable. (!)

  13. It was really special to be able to see Fed live in Rod Laver last night. My first time and probably last time. Good enough for a R1 match I guess. The atmosphere was awesome and it’d have been even way better had I not managed to get ourselves seats among a big bunch of corporate people who know nothing about tennis.

    I thought for most of the match he was focussed and in business mode. Sloppiness at times but you couldn’t ask for too much at this point. He even cracked a joke mid match about the baby. Maybe hes not over Perth yet!

    Elsewhere the top seeds are all doing well. The next couple of rounds will be very interesting!

    1. I must add that having seen quite a bit of tennis in the past 10 days live, Fed’s game is just so freshing to watch live and head and shoulders above those top50, in that he just has so many arsenal at his disposal, you just don’t know what he’ll pull out next. While many solid players these days, all they can do is baseline bashing and they don’t have any other plans when they can’t hit winners or their opponents don’t make many errors. I guess we always know this but it really hits home to me having gone to tennis in the past 8 days straight

      1. Great that you enjoyed a Fed experience (Who wouldn’t?). Don’t make it the last, though!
        Dito to your comment about his game, thanks for the fan-report from down under, April.

      1. TBH I don’t know who that guy is but apparently he’s some sort of Hollywood personality? I didn’t find the thing funny. Can’t see how he’s relevant to tennis or Fed. I thought the wombat meat joke was over the top and the crowd were too impressed. AO should definitely stick to tennis. It’s almost like they want to milk everything out of Fed while he’s out there

  14. Its too early to say but I’ve a feeling we’ll get a repeat of 2008 semis! With a totally different outcome, hopefully!

  15. The worst grand slam for me from a viewing perspective as all the matches are during working hours.

    Looks like Fed is in good nick. So is Rafa and so is Nick !!!

  16. Just watched pinkietrov battle through a tremendous match with someone about 187 in the world!Does not bode well for going forward.Nadals draw…..sigh.

    1. Mackie McDonald is a solid player though, has no results to speak of but I followed his college career a bit. Fed flew him out to practice in Dubai in 2016 and he’s clearly not going to bring out clowns who can’t challenge him. He is quite a flat hitter, makes a lot of balls and got very good accuracy.

      That being said Dimitrov is a clown tactically a lot of the time. He also got yips on 2nd serves tbh. Should have been 3 or 4 sets.

  17. Finally had a chance to watch the match. Love watching his game…never get enough. Raonic was attempting to play with cement shoes, poor movement, fitness. Shapo should have won his match but Tsonga’s experience and no 1st serves at the end did him in. Like the guy and his game.
    On to Nadal and his wife beater shirt. Dirty looking grey, pit hair, soaked in sweat. Gross.
    Good for Roger not to play in the heat but middle of the night for me. Hey, what’s with Djokovic wanting more money?

      1. If only a Shapo win was true! He played well overall, but Tsonga’s greater experience made the difference. Rod Laver tweeted about Denis: “such a talented player. Going up in the world.” That was good to hear.

  18. @Alison,
    Goodness knows.It could go two ways,either sharpen him up and improve his game or he will go out to Rubrev.Like
    everyone in this half he has a tough draw.Knowing Dimitrov nothing would surprise me.To be honest the lasting impression of this AO for me will be the bloody pink clothes.Just when you think you have seen the most ghastly combination of pink ever,along comes another one.Dimi resembled a large pink prawn today.Perhaps Wimbledon have got it right making them all wear white.At least our eyes will be spared these endless fashion disasters.

    1. Could be a confidence-boosting win but he only just got over the line. Bagelled too. He needs to wise up tactically, let Mackie play way too many points on his terms. There is no way Fed, Nadal etc give opposition that much freedom.

    2. I don’t mind the Grigor shirt even though it really does look like a licorice allsort! The everybody-else kit, on the other hand… is not growing on me.

  19. Yes,agreed,no way is this a good result at the beginning of a slam.Rather like the Tiafoe five setter at the American
    Open ,things were obviously not quite right.But Grigor ,well who knows.To be honest I think the only one on that side of the draw who can beat a Nadal is Kygios.Now he has to play Tsonga.A player who can spoil anyone’s party and then roll over in the next round.

  20. Spot on with your prediction re Struff,Jonathan.He certainly has a big game and was up for a fight but apart from that wobble in the third set Fed handled him with ease although helped by Struffs low first service percentage.Very
    impressed by two second serve aces from the maestro.

    1. Yes, Sruff hit big and backed it up with some punishing groundstrokes. In fact he broke Fed in the 3rd set and it was fortunate he gave it right back after a double fault and some weak play, otherwise this one would have been going to 4. Struff should be in the top 25 at least with his power and height.

      Nadal’s draw…you can’t make it up…I doubt Kyrgios will even make to him, he’s playing doubles too so in this heat he will be spent.

      Djokovic looked awful in the 1st set, got broken 3 times, and Monfisl still managed to nearly give the 1st set away. Then the rest was easy for Djokovic. I think we are heading for a Djokovic – Fed/Del Potro semi.

      Goffin gone as well, which is interesting., Benneteau took him out.

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