Roger Federer looks to make it a sweet 16 victories in a row at the Australian Open, taking on Daniel Evans for a spot in the third round. The two-time defending champion is expected to lose his crown to Novak Djokovic this year but was impressive in taking advantage the last two years with the other top stars either injured or out of form. Both Federer and Djokovic will be gunning for their seventh title in what would be a tournament record.
Evans looks to take up the mantle left by a soon to be departing Andy Murray but he is going to have to work his way back up the rankings having only been in the qualifying draw this time round. His record at slams has been varied but the most notable was his third round at the US Open, where he beat Alexander Zverev before pushing champion Stanislas Wawrinka all the way. “I think I’m more mature, obviously with age and stuff. I’ve obviously got to try and be smarter on the court. It’s not ideal to be running around, especially in that heat, for hours, and I thought I did that pretty well today.” he said on what has changed and what he needs to improve on since then following his win over Tatsuma Ito.
It was a dominant serving performance for Federer, who did not face a single break point in the straight sets win over Denis Istomin. It’s nothing new for Federer, who has been putting up these kind of figures in the early rounds for a while now. “I think I was hitting the ball pretty well. Yeah, look, I think I protected my serve well, didn’t allow Denis really to get into my service games very often.At the same time I think I have to do some defense, some offense. It was a bit of everything.” he said on the win.
Federer is well familiar with the threat Evans poses and was complimentary of the Brit. “He’s got all the shots. Likes to take chances, takes the ball early. It’s nice to see him back on the tour as well. I’m happy for him that he won his first round.” he said. It should be a fairly routine match for Federer, who may await a tougher test in round three should Gael Monfils be at his best if he advances.
Prediction – Roger Federer in straight sets