Four-time Australian Open champion and number three seed Roger Federer won his opening round match against Nikolaz Basilashvili, 6-2 6-1 6-2 in one hour and 12 minutes on Monday to advance in the second round of the Australian Open 2016. Next up for Federer is Alexandr Dolgopolov, who beat Ricardas Berankis in four sets, 6-1 3-6 6-4 6-2 in his opener also on Monday.
Ahead of his second-round clash with Dolgopolov, who had been hitting practice sessions with him in Dubai during the off-season, Federer said he anticipates a tough match, but hopes to come through the big challenge against the Ukrainian. Federer owns a 2-0 advantage in his head-to-head record with Dolgopolov with their most recent meeting in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event at Indian Wells in 2014 winning in straight sets, 6-3 6-1.
“Had some practice sessions together there, this year and last year, I know him (Dolgopolov) very well,” Federer said as quoted on the official website of the Australian Open 2016.
“This is going to be a different challenge than the first round, this was more of an unexperienced player today, but still dangerous and still a good player.”
According to Federer, the 35-ranked Dolgopolov has got the “fitness, power, speed, and tennis IQ” that could give him a big challenge when they clash on round two. Still, the 17-time grand slam champion said he will be ready when he faces the Ukrainian in his bid to win a fifth trophy in Melbourne’s grand slam tennis event.
Federer, who is coming off from his finals appearance at the 2016 Brisbane International (lost to Milos Raonic, 6-4 6-4), is looking not to repeat his early and shocking eliminate in Melbourne last year. Federer was stunned by Andreas Seppi in the third round, 6-4 7-6(7) 4-6 7-6(5), breaking his streak of 11 consecutive Australian Open semifinals (2004-2014). It was Federer’s earliest exit at the Australian Open since 2001, when he also lost in the third round (lost to Arnaud Clement, 7-6(7) 6-4 6-4).