High and rising Federer fells Ivo
Originally published on: 20/01/12 09:08
A day after Serena Williams secured her 500th match win, the lynchpin of men’s tennis clocked up his 813th victory in his 999th match.
In a 7-6(6) 7-5 6-3 victory over lofty Croat Ivo Karlovic, Roger Federer ensured his 1000th tour encounter would be played in round four of the Australian Open against either home hope Bernard Tomic or last year’s quarter-finalist Alexandr Dolgopolov.
“It’s a lot of matches,” considered Federer on Friday. “How do I feel? I feel good. I feel healthy. I don’t know if I can play another 1000 but I feel like it’s a lot of tennis. I would like to play more, but it’s quite a number. I’m aware of that.”
In beating Karlovic for a 10th time in their 11 encounters, Federer saved a set point by leaping to put up a lob at 5-6 that had too much for the Croat.
“[I thought] let me try the lob, even though that’s not what you’re supposed to do against him,” admitted the Swiss. “I got the angle right and was able maybe to surprise him.”
As for his impending fourth round encounter, Federer admits he is not used to the eclectic styles of either Dolgopolov or Tomic.
“I’ll follow it as much as I can,” he said of their intriguing third round clash. “I’ve only played Bernard and Alexandr once each, I think, so I don’t know them that well.
“Tomic obviously being young makes him still somewhat of a mystery maybe just because he’s changing his game as he’s progressing along the way.
“Also Dolgopolov is making his move up the rankings. He’s already in the top 15 and playing very solid since some time now. Still, he’s discovering his best game and his weakest game.
“It’s going to be a good match to watch. Either player is going to be a challenge for me.”
Federer beat Tomic on the grass of Sydney in the Davis Cup late last year, and Dolgopolov in Basel when the Ukranian retired at 6-4 5-2 down, and the Swiss will hope that their second encounter will provide him another memorable match to look back on in his 1000th tour clash.
“I’ve had my share of tough losses and also my great wins,” he said of the milestone. “Many, thank God, good and bad.”