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.
|A. BEDENE||R. FEDERER|
|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|
|Net Points Won||62% (8/13)||72% (26/36)|
|Total points won||75||96|
Thoughts on the Match
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.
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.