Melbourne | Federer and Djokovic show dominant form
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Roger Federer, chasing his seventh Australian Open title, was in ominous form as he swept into the third round which he has reached at all his previous 20 outings in Melbourne.
I feel really relaxed on court. I've trained hard and you always hope it pays off Roger Federer
He crushed Serb Filip Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena and declared he “had plenty left in the tank” to maintain his record at the first grand slam of the season where he has made the semi-finals or better on 14 occasions.
The 398-year-old Swiss icon arrived in Melbourne this year playing a warm-up event and could be said to be very refreshed and hungry for success.
“Very happy, been a great start to the season,” he said as he moved a step closer to possibly increasing his record of 21 grand slam titles on Sunday week.
“I feel really relaxed on court. I’ve trained hard and you always hope it pays off.”
So so far over two rounds Federer has dropped just 13 games which he admitted suited him as he was able to conserve 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 assignment next against 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.”
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Novak Djokovic, the defending champion and seven time title holder, was equally dominant in his second round match, dispensing Tatsuma Ito 6-1 6-4 6-2 in just 95-minutes.
”He was playing pretty aggressive and flat, with not too many unforced errors in the second set. I just managed to somehow find my way,” Djokovic told the crowd. “From my side, my serve helped me a lot to get out of trouble.
”I knew shots would come quick and flat, so I had to be quite low, put some variety on the shots, spins, slices, and come to the net on occasion. It worked well.”
Djokovic has now won his last nine matches in Melbourne and is 8-0 in singles this year. Up next will be another Japanese player Yoshihito Nishioka who upset Dan Evans in straight sets earlier in the morning.
In contrast to the comfortable straight set victories won by the second and third seeds, two went to five and even championship tie-break sets.
One was between the 2018 finalist Marin Cilic who outlasted Benoit Paire 6-2 6-7(6) 3-6 6-1 7-6(3) while Fabio Fognini required just over four hours to battle past Jordan Thompson of Australia 7-6(4) 6-1 3-6 4-6 7-6(4).
Meanwhile Milos Raonic was very much on song with his big serve. The former Australian semi-finalist has held 26 service games in two rounds, his latest victim being Cristian Garin, 6-3 6-4 6-2.
Diego Schwartzman, Guido Pella and Roberto Bautista Agut were also winners while Stefanos Tstsipas cruised through thanks to a walk over from Philipp Kohlschreiber.