Federer tested by Bolelli in Melbourne

World No. 2 Roger Federer overcame a difficult start to move into the Australian Open third round with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Simone Bolelli in Melbourne.

Following Maria Sharapova’s near-upset on Rod Laver Arena in the previous match, Federer came out and immediately fell behind 1-4. The 48th-ranked Bolelli took a set off of the Swiss for the first time in four ATP Head to Head meetings as he converted on his third set point opportunity.

Federer was unable to capitalise on his double break point chance at 3-2 in the second set, before finally breaking Bolelli’s defences in the Italian’s next service game. He opened the third set with another break and never looked back, closing out the victory in just over two hours.

"Happy I'm still in the tournament, because there for a while today it wasn't looking very good because Bolelli was playing very well," admitted Federer. "But it's always a good feeling fighting your way out of a match, like now, and winning the last three sets convincingly and actually playing really positive tennis. I served very well.

"The important thing is that you play the right way early because it's not always that easy. Today I had to do some adjustments because he was doing things very well. By figuring things out, it's a great feeling to have once you've got it. Then you're able to play consistently well, because actually he didn't have many opportunities on my serve. You always expect yourself to create opportunities, which I was finally able to do. Conditions were playing fast, and it's not so easy if you serve well to break."

The four-time Australian Open champion next faces Italian Andreas Seppi who beat the 29th seed Jeremy Chardy 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. Federer is bidding to become the second man in history, following Roy Emerson, to win five Australian Open titles. His last victory at Melbourne Park came in 2010, when he defeated Andy Murray in the final.

The 33-year-old Federer has reached 11 successive Australian Open semi-finals, also winning the title in 2004 (d. Safin), 2006 (d. Baghdatis) and 2007 (d. Gonzalez). Last year, he was beaten in the final four by Rafael Nadal.

Federer has started 2015 with a perfect 6-0 record. In the first week of the season, he became the third man in the Open Era to reach 1,000 match wins as he captured his 83rd tour-level title in Brisbane (d. Raonic).

Date: 21st January 2015, Source: ATP


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