Australian Open: Roger Federer rolls past Bedene to kick off title defense

by   |  VIEW 8514
Australian Open: Roger Federer rolls past Bedene to kick off title defense

Defending champion and world number 2 Roger Federer grabbed his 326th Grand Slam win with a commanding 6-3 6-4 6-3 win over Aljaz Bedene in an hour and 39 minutes. This was the 88th win for Swiss star in his 19th visit to Melbourne, bidding to lift his 6th trophy here, and he did just about everything right on the court, defending his serve well and breaking Aljaz 4 times to bring the match home in style. Roger saved 2 break points he faced and he was aggressive and determined to keep the points on his racquet, firing from his serve and forehand to keep Bedene away from the good position to impose his strokes. Federer constructed the points nicely and played well from his backhand side to earn the win fair and square, looking to continue in the same style in the second round on Thursday.

It was a dream start of the tournament for Roger, he found his shots early on to lose just 3 points on serve in the opening set, converting his 4th break point in game 4 to move 3-1 ahead after a forehand winner. Another direct point from his forehand handed Roger the first set in just 27 minutes, and he broke at the start of the second set as well with a smash winner at the net following a deep return. Slovenian earned those 2 break points in the 4th game but Federer fends them off with 2 winners, from his serve and forehand, and that was the last time he had troubles in his service games. Bedene fought off 3 set points in game 9 but that was all he could do, as Roger clinched the set with another good hold in game 10 following a service winner. The first big moment of the third set came in game 3 when Roger broke with a forehand down the line winner, and the victory was his after another break in game 9 that propelled him to the second round.

Sydney champion Daniil Medvedev carried his good form to Melbourne as well, scoring his first Australian Open victory after toppling home favorite Thanasi Kokkinakis by 6-2 6-7 7-6 6-4 in 3 hours and 29 minutes. Russian had more winners and fewer unforced errors than his coeval but he still had to play against 9 break points, saving 8 to limit the damage in his game and keep the pressure on Thanasi who got broken 4 times from 7 opportunities he gave to Medvedev. Daniil moved in front after just 3 minutes, breaking Kokkinakis for an early lead, and he increased his advantage to 4-1 when Thanasi sent a backhand long in the 5th game. Medvedev saved a break point in the 8th game to take the opener with a backhand winner after just 27 minutes. Kokkinakis struggled to impose his shots and he was broken in the 5th game of set number 2 after a costly double fault.

He needed to reset his game quickly and he did that with a break for a 4-4, converting his 4th break chance to get back on the level terms. The Aussie won an intensive tie break by 8-6 and this gave him a huge boost before the rest of the match, getting an even bigger support from his partisan crowd. The third set hit the tie break as well after 2 break points missed by each player, and it was a very close one. Daniil wasted a 6-3 lead and another set point at 7-6, and Thanasi earned his set point with a forehand winner in the 15th point. Medvedev saved it with a backhand down the line winner and he converted his 5th set point with a backhand drive-volley winner to take the breaker by 10-8 and move a set away from victory. The 4th set was decided in the very first game, Kokkinakis sent a backhand long and he could never pull the break back. Daniil repelled 2 break points in the following game and he served well until the end of the match, moving over the top with an ace in game 10. 

Dominic Thiem made a name for himself in the first round win over Guido Pella by 6-4 6-4 6-4, saving all 6 break points he faced and stealing rival's serve once in each set to wrap up the encounter in under 2 hours and 20 minutes. Guido also played a very solid match but he failed to make at least one break of serve that would keep him in contention longer, even though he had a break chance in the last game of each set. Dominic defended a break point in his first service game and he played well on the return in game 7 to move in front. He had to save a break point in the 10th game and the set was his after he converted the 3rd set point. The Austrian earned a break in the 5th game of the second set and he stayed focused in the following games to bring the set home, fending off 2 break points in game 6 and another one in game 10. Pella was in a really tough position when he lost serve in the third game of the third set and Dominic completed his win with a hold in game 10, again after fending off a break point. 

First round results:


ALSO READ: Australian Open: Alexander Zverev and Goffin reach R2. Lacko tops Raonic