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Roger Federer at Australian Open

‘I was in control’ – Roger Federer makes dominant start to Australian Open campaign


Roger Federer declared himself delighted, if a little surprised, to ease into the second round of the Australian Open.

The 38-year-old defied convention by skipping any warm-up for the tournament, and had spoken beforehand about his concern about a lack of game-time.

However, he showed no signs of rustiness as he dominated Steve Johnson to earn a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win.

“I just haven’t played proper matches in many, many weeks, and a lot of guys, probably 95 per cent of the guys, are coming here with matches,” Federer said.

“So I’m not one of those guys. Now I have one. Best of five, too, which is even better.

“So I think for me really the first three rounds are key to get going, to get used to the pressure, or just to stay calm if you’re down a set and a break or whatever it might be.

“This is sort of the unknown that can be a little bit scary at times. But today there was none of that because I broke early each set and was able to get on a roll, play freely after that. And also felt I had margin.

“Anything I was doing I felt like I had the game under control.

“That might not be the case in the next round, so I just think I have to be careful. Round-by-round, point-for-point mentality.

“I know other guys that are playing extremely well right now so I think it’s just important to stay very calm about things right now.”

Elsewhere on day one of the Australian Open, Dan Evans was a comeback kid, fighting from two sets down to beat Mackenzie McDonald 3-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 in nearly three-and-a-half hours.

Denis Shapovalov was the first high-profile exit of the tournament, losing 6-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 7-6 (7-3) loss to Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics.

Grigor Dimitrov and Matteo Berrettini both advanced, but Borna Coric crashed out to Sam Querrey.

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