Roger Federer of Switzerland is pegged to deal with his first real challenge at the 2016 Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia facing Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the third round of the men’s singles competition in the first Grand Slam tournament of the ATP season.
Federer, who is seeded third in this tournament and ranked World No. 3, defeated Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili, 6-2 6-1 6-2 and Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov, 6-3 7-5 6-1 and was largely unchallenged as the Swiss Maestro has yet to drop a set in Melbourne.
Meanwhile, Dimitrov, who is seeded 27th and the current World No. 28, beat Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi, 6-3 7-6 (6) 6-3 and Argentina’s Marco Trungelliti, 6-3 4-6 6-2 7-5 in the first two rounds to set up the huge match-up against Federer.
In his post-match interview after the second round win over Dolgopolov, Federer admitted that he sees Dimtrov as a ‘dangerous’ opponent citing previous matches between the two and the Bulgarian’s recent performances.
“I think he did well in Sydney, and that definitely also gave him a bit of a lift if he takes the positives out of the tournament, because wasting match point in a final is not a great thing. I have gone through spells of these and they are the worst. If you look at the positive side, he should have, could have won the tournament,” Federer said via the tournament’s official website.
“He’s got the game to be really dangerous. He’s fit enough for a five-setter, so, yeah, I mean, [got to] definitely bring my best game to the court.”
Federer is 4-0 against Dimitrov in their head to head meetings with the recent win coming at the 2016 Brisbane International where Federer won, 6-4 6-7 (4) 6-4.
Other third round matches in the men’s singles competition today include match-ups between Novak Djokovic (Serbia) and Andreas Seppi (Italy), Jo Tsonga (France) and Pierre-Hugues Herbert (France), and Guillermo Garcia Lopez (Spain) and Kei Nishikori (Japan), among others.
The Federer vs Dimitrov third round match-up starts at 2:00 p.m. in Australia.
Photo courtesy: Sporting News