Wednesday Preview: Djokovic & Federer Pushing For Spot In Third Round
The Serbian was stunned here in the second round three years ago by Denis Istomin. But before that, Djokovic most recently lost that early at a Grand Slam at 2008 Wimbledon, when he fell to former World No. 1 Marat Safin. The 16-time major titlist battled through a tough four-setter in his opener against powerful German Jan-Lennard Struff.
“I actually like tough first rounds, in Grand Slams particularly. Historically I’ve had lots of success in Grand Slams where I had tough opponents in the first round because it gets me going from the beginning,” Djokovic said. “Of course you can always play better and I expect myself to be better as the tournament progresses, but it was a good matchup and I’m glad how I overcame the challenge.”
Federer, who has won two of the past three Australian Open titles, will look to move one step closer to 100 wins at this event when he faces Serbian Filip Krajinovic, who won his opener in five sets that took three hours and 54 minutes.
The 38-year-old Swiss, who is 98-14 at Melbourne Park, has won all three of his meetings against Krajinovic, with all of those matches coming on hard courts. In their two battles that came outdoors, Federer did not drop a set.
"I have to be careful. Round-by-round, point-for-point mentality," Federer said. "I know other guys that are playing extremely well right now, so I think it's just important to stay very calm about things."
Federer's Record By Grand Slam
No. 8 seed Matteo Berrettini will try to maintain the good level that helped him to a straight-sets win in the first round when he plays American Tennys Sandgren, who made the quarter-finals in Melbourne two years ago. The Italian is trying to reach the third round for the third straight major. He had not won a match at the Australian Open before his first-round victory against Aussie wild card Andrew Harris.
Roberto Bautista Agut, the ninth seed, completed his victory against fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez on Tuesday, and he will be back on the court Wednesday against American wild card Michael Mmoh. No. 12 seed Fabio Fognini, who finished off a two-set comeback against big-serving Reilly Opelka, will have another tough battle against Aussie Jordan Thompson.