With a third straight night session to begin the tournament, Roger Federer‘s placement atop the Rod Laver Arena once more has caused a bit of a stir but his match with Richard Gasquet being there is arguably the least controversial of all as the pair prepare to face off for the 19th time. If he were to advance, Federer’s round 4 against Nicolas Kicker or Marton Fucsovics being placed in the day session seems a sensible move to avoid further criticism.
“It’s definitely a challenge. It’s hard to prepare for that in some ways. But you know when you come down here that can happen. Sure, I’m happy I played at nighttime. But like I said on court, I would back myself playing during the daytime also. ” Federer said on avoiding playing in over 40 degrees celsius temperatures. “The problem is at that temperature, sometimes your body just reacts funny just because it does. It is hard to get out of it, that feeling of not feeling well. ” As expected, Federer has had little issue with either of his two opponents so far. Jan Lennard Struff was sent packing in straight sets with an impressive 17 aces contributing to the ease of the 6-4 6-4 7-6 victory.
Gasquet has played two players ranked outside the top 100 to begin the tournament and defeated both of them with the minimal of fuss. He broke 6 times overall against Lorenzo Sonego while ensuring the Italian qualifier did not break on his lone opportunity in the 6-2 6-2 6-3 win. Gasquet is currently on a 17 set losing streak against Federer and it would be no surprise at all to see Federer extend that to 20 given the Swiss’ form as he looks to defend his title.
Prediction – Roger Federer in straight sets