Rod Laver Arena Night Session (7pm local time, 3am EST, 8am GMT, 9am CET)
When the draw came out for the Australian Open, a lot of attention was brought to the fact Roger Federer had a very tricky looking route to make the final. With two easy straight sets wins to date, the World No.2 has dealt with two flashy but inconsistent players in Nikolay Davydenko and Benoit Paire. Next up for Federer is Bernard Tomic, currently on a 10 match winning streak which includes the final of Sydney where he took his first ATP title at the young age of 20.
Tomic comes in with even more confidence than usual and has dropped just one set on his way to this math. Leonardo Mayer was dispatched with little effort but a zoning Daniel Brands caused much more trouble than expected. After losing the first set on a tie break, Tomic came back to win in four sets but would need seven match points to do so, eventually winning the fourth set in a marathon tie break. Brands was taking the ball very early at times, giving Tomic lots of trouble and not allowing him to show the more aggressive side that was needed to improve his game coming into this year. While Brands was inspired, hitting 73 winners to just 41 unforced errors, you have to think Bernard will need to do far far better to have any chance of victory against Federer. Tomic broke the tall German just once, but when he did it was in some style. His forehand looks more capable of ending points now and showing extra aggression instead of the endless slice backhands is doing him good.
Head To Head (Federer 3-0)
Cincinnati 2012 Federer d. Tomic 6-2 6-4
Australian Open 2012 Federer d. Tomic 6-4 6-2 6-2
Davis Cup 2011 Federer d. Tomic 6-2 7-5 3-6 6-3
Run To The Third Round
- R1 d. Benoit Paire 6-2 6-4 6-1
- R2 d. Nikolay Davydenko 6-3 6-4 6-4
- R1 d. Leonardo Mayer 6-3 6-2 6-3
- R2 d. Daniel Brands (4)6-7 7-5 7-6(3) 7-6(8)
It may be a little too early for Tomic to earn a victory of this stature but the improvements in his game should mean it is slightly more competitive than the one sided affairs of last year. As ever, a fast start will be important for Tomic as he will not be able to fall behind as he did in the last round. With less of the childish antics and showing more of his undoubted talent so far this year, the crowd are much more likely to be behind their lone representative in the Mens 3rd round but it may not be enough yet. The Federer of now looks more susceptible but it is still hard to see him losing a five set match to a player outside the top ten these days. Federer in 4 6-4 7-6 4-6 6-3