Closing out play on Day 4 on Rod Laver Arena is the defending champion Roger Federer, who takes on Germany’s Jan Lennard Struff for a spot in round three and a likely match with Richard Gasquet. It doesn’t scream night time thriller but Federer will be delighted to stay in the night session with the scorching temperatures forecast during the day on Thursday.
Struff saw off the threat of Korean youngster Kwon Soon Woo with ease, defeating the 20 year old 6-1 6-2 6-4. He was rarely troubled on serve, facing break points on just one occasion. That came in the third set when he was already *2-1 up. He was broken but normal service resumed from then on as he struck right back and held on from there for the victory. The German has remained a fixture of the top 100 for much of the last few years but has never looked like one to push on to the next level. The 5-25 record that the 53rd ranked player holds against top 20 players is about what he could hope for.
Federer hit 41 winners in his opening round 6-3 6-4 6-3 win against Aljaz Bedene in a good start to his title defence. The Slovenian never really looked like troubling the No.2 seed and went 0 for 2 on the break point chances that he managed to earn. The medium-fast court speed seemed to suit Federer who has always thrived on these courts. “I think Bedene and myself, we were really trying to take the ball early, go through our shots. It felt pretty fast out there tonight. That’s how it also felt last year.” he said. “When you do serve well and connect well on shots, you get rewarded for it.”
Prediction – Roger Federer in straight sets