In 2013, Roger Federer experienced one of his worst seasons after becoming a pro, winning only one title in Halle and missing a chance to add at least two crowns to his collection for the first time since 2001! Ready to bounce back, Roger kicked off the 2014 campaign with even higher motivation to get back into the top-5 and fight for the most notable titles again, bringing one of his childhood idols Stefan Edberg to his coaching staff.
Starting the season in Brisbane, Roger lost to Lleyton Hewitt in the final and headed to Melbourne to compete at the 57th straight Major, writing the record books after leaving Wayne Ferreira on 56 and becoming an Open era leader (Roger would count to 65 before withdrawing from Roland Garros 2016).
On January 14, Federer opened the Australian Open run with a commanding 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over James Duckworth in an hour and 43 minutes, marking the best start of his collaboration with Stefan Edberg, who was presented as his coach.
It was a solid tournament opener for the Swiss after dropping only five points behind the first serve and 19 in 14 service games overall, facing only one break point in the entire encounter and fending it off to mount the pressure on the Aussie.
Making his third straight appearance at home Major, James was hoping for a miracle against world no. 6, landing 13 aces but still offering 17 break chances to Roger and losing serve four times to propel the Swiss into the second round.
Roger Federer entered his 57th consecutive Major tournament at Australian Open 2014.
Taming his shots nicely, Federer fired 30 winners and 17 unforced errors while Duckworth counted to 34 winners and 38 mistakes, trying to impose his strokes but spraying too many unforced errors along the way.
James fended off break chances in the encounter's first game and reached a couple of deuces on the return in game two before experienced another challenging service game to remain 2-1 in front. Federer finally grabbed a break in the fifth game following a smash winner, confirmed it with a hold at love and missed more chances in the next game that could have pushed him further in front.
Serving for the set at 5-4, Roger fired three service winners to wrap up the opener in 40 minutes. The Swiss had to work harder in set number two, as Duckworth stayed in touch until 3-3 when Federer broke him to move ahead.
In the next game, the Swiss repelled a break chance with a service winner and held at love in game ten to seal the second set and take another step towards the finish line. Duckworth suffered a break at the beginning of the third set, and there was no way back for him from there.
The Aussie saved multiple break points in the third game before spraying a backhand error to go 4-1 down, with Federer firing a service winner three games later to find himself in the second round. Roger made a debut at the Australian Open in 2000 and never miss a Major event for the next 16 and a half years.