(January 21, 2015) No. 2 Roger Federer rebounded from dropping his first-ever set to Simone Bolelli, and medical time out for a on his sore right pinky finger, before winning his second round match in Melbourne 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to reach the third round of the Australian Open.
“It felt like a bee stung me” said the Swiss. “I was like `This can’t be possible – I never had this pain before.’ It was disturbing me. I knew that to tape it wasn’t an option.”
Bolelli came out swinging, jumping out to a 4-1 lead over the 4-time Australian Open champion. The Italian captured his first-ever set against Federer.
“Well, I thought he played two really good sets against me in Davis Cup, so I felt like he was really, you know, imposing his strength at the baseline,” said in regard to playing the world No. 48. I could sense there that he had a good forehand; committed, you know, on the return; solid backhand with the option to hit the slice. I wasn’t that surprised, to be honest, you know. I was just surprised how well, how consistently he was doing that, and especially how well he was serving actually. But then again, conditions were fast, which made it easier to serve well and harder to return. Maybe the break, I shouldn’t be broken, but he was really playing very well from the baseline. I guess in these conditions sometimes a break can be a set. That’s when I was under pressure for a while in the second set, but I’m happy I fought my way out of it.
Federer his 36 winners to 23 unforced errors, winning a total of 115 points in the match which lasted two hours and nine minutes.
“It’s always a good feeling fighting your way out of a match,” said the 33-year-old, “like now, and winning the last three sets convincingly and actually playing really positive tennis. I served very well. So, you know, important 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.”
Federer will get another Italian in the third round – Andreas Seppi. Federer has upped his career match win total to 1002.