Melbourne: Roger Federer admitted he feared a shock exit from the Australian Open before overturning an early deficit and surviving a mystery injury scare to reach the third round.
Roger Federer celebrates his win over Simone Bolelli yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
Federer lost the opening set of his second-round match to Italy's Simone Bolelli before calling the trainer to Rod Laver Arena for what initially appeared to be a blister on the little finger of his right hand.
The Swiss star looked decidedly uncomfortable and ushered away an encroaching television cameraman — "Do you need to be so close?" — as he consulted the trainer, but recovered his composure to eventually secure a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory.
"I thought Simone played really well in the first set, so I really had to fight until the middle of the third set and once I got the break I was able to relax a little bit, but it was tough and I'm really pleased to come through," said Federer, who will face Italy's Andreas Seppi in the last 32.
"I was already seeing myself explaining losing in the second round and I'm happy I don't have to do that interview. I'm happy I'm still in the tournament, because for a while there today it wasn't looking very good because Bolelli was playing very well.
Asked about the injury, second seed Federer added: "I don't know what that thing is. It felt like a bee stung me. I never had this pain before - it was disturbing me."