The 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is playing his 20th Australian Open and he was on a roll in the opening round match against Denis Istomin, sealing the deal in less than two hours after firing 14 aces and never facing a break point.
Roger was the dominant figure on the court, shooting more than 50 winners and doing enough on the return to secure the triumph in straight sets. After the match, Roger had a chance to talk with John McEnroe, saying he was pleased with the way he performed in the first official match of the year, shifting the momentum from the Hopman Cup where he won the second title in a row with Belinda Bencic.
Roger is also very motivated to deliver his best tennis in Melbourne and try to win the third straight title at Melbourne Park at the age of 37, charging batteries with his family during the off-season period and also from the partisan crowd on the Rod Laver Arena that has always been very supportive towards him.
"It is always a pleasure to see you John (McEnroe). It is great to be back here to be quite honest, I'm very happy with the match. I think I brought good energy, I played some good shots, I was solid overall because Denis made it tough, he is a good ball striker, good server, and I'm just happy to be as healthy as good as I'm playing right now after another dream run last year so it is just a thrill to be back.
I don't think I have been moving as quickly as in the past but it is good, you know, the body hurts more than it used to but it is all good. I don't know how I do it, we go on vacation and then I work really hard, we have a little bit from both words.
It is really important to let the body heal and the mind as well and we you come back you are super professional about it, I had a great pre-season again, also being lucky I've never missed one in my 20 plus something career.
I'm very happy it has gone in the way it is, I hope I will be able to keep it up. I have been here a few times, yeah, coming to Australia for 22 years if we count juniors and qualifications. The louder is the crowd's roar, the harder I try.
You guys are absolutely wonderful, I couldn't thank you enough. You guys know so much about this game, we had the most incredible legends coming from this country, except John McEnroe (laugh), and you always come out in full force, we the players enjoy that, me in particular, thank you so much, I can't get enough, that's definitely one of the biggest reasons I'm still playing.
It is disbelief to be quite honest that I'm chasing my third consecutive title here at this age. I guess it is the fairytale comeback I'm still on. I played really great again last year, I hope I can do it again this year, I have to go in with the mindset it is maybe possible, it will probably be someone else but I'm gonna try everything I possibly have, leave my all on the court and then we will see what happens. I'll give my best shot."