Monday, 18 January 2016

Australian Open: Roger Federer Advances After Beating Nikoloz Basilashvili

Grand slam record-holder Roger Federer has sailed past Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili in straight sets in his opening match at the Australian Open.

The Swiss third seed crushed the Georgian 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 in just 72 minutes on Monday night and will play Ukraine's Aleksandr Dolgopolov in the second round.
PHOTO: Through to the second round ... Roger Federer. (AAP: Lukas Coch)
PHOTO: Through to the second round ... Roger Federer. (AAP: Lukas Coch)
The 17-time major champion was in a different class to his 117th-ranked opponent and showcased his full arsenal of shots against the bemused Basilashvili in their first meeting.

"I am very happy. The first round is never easy and I've never played against Nikoloz so it was nice opening on centre court in a night session which is always a pressure situation," Federer said.

"It was a great match and I hope I can keep it up."

He broke the Georgian eight times in a dominating performance and maintained his record of never having lost in the first round in Melbourne in 17 appearances.

The Swiss great, playing in his 65th consecutive major tournament, hit a total of 31 winners and won 91 percent of his first serve points.

Federer is looking to claim his fifth Australian Open crown and at 34 become the oldest man to win the major since Ken Rosewall at 37 when he lifted the trophy in 1972.
PHOTO: Hear me roar ... Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France celebrates winning a point against Marcos Baghdatis. (AAP: Tracey Nearmy)
PHOTO: Hear me roar ... Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France celebrates winning a point against Marcos Baghdatis. (AAP: Tracey Nearmy)
The Swiss legend is on course for a possible meeting with top seed and five-time winner Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals as he looks for his first grand slam title since Wimbledon in 2012.

In the night's other contest, French entertainer Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat crowd favourite Marcos Baghdatis in four sets.

Tsonga, who reached the Australian Open final in 2008, won through 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours, 26 minutes.

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