Federer deflects “mirror” Evans to advance

Published by Alex Sharp

Roger Federer soared into the third round with a straight sets victory on Rod Laver Arena.
The double-defending champion has never lost in the second round of the Australian Open during 20 campaigns at Melbourne Park.

Twenty trips to Melbourne Park, and for a 20th time reigning champion Roger Federer has navigated past the Australian Open second round – this time with a 7-6(5) 7-6(3) 6-3 victory over Dan Evans.

The world No.189 led 5-4 in the first set tiebreak, before the Brit opened the door for Federer with two errant volleys.

“I couldn’t get away early in the match. The margins were slim. I was happy to win that first set. It was big,” Federer told Jim Courier in his post-match interview.

Evans, who featured in the last 16 back in 2017, made only 14 errors during the high-quality clash, but couldn’t quite find a break-through on the Federer serve.

“It felt like playing in a mirror a little bit. He has a lot of slice backhands also on the return. I maybe have a little bit more size … maybe that was the difference,” continued the double defending champion.

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“I have high regard in Dan. I think he’s a good player. I’ve seen him play some really good matches over the years. I see why he can cause difficulties to players. He has the variation, which is always a hard thing to play against.

“He was feeling it today, I thought. He was very sort of cat and mouse a bit. Very interesting. I liked the match. I think he can be top 50 again, no problem, yeah.”

The straight-sets scoreline secured the six-time Australian Open champion his 96th singles win at Melbourne Park, the most of any Grand Slam, ahead of the 95 he has collected at Wimbledon.

The Swiss maestro will be going for No.97 when facing Next Gen prospect Taylor Fritz in the third round after the American took out 30th seed Gael Monfils in four sets.

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