Australian Open: I'm loving it, says Roger Federer after Round 1 win

Updated: 17 January, 2018 09:48 IST | Agencies | Melbourne

Defending champion Federer says he enjoyed every bit of his 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 first round victory over Aljaz Bedene and hopes to keep momentum going

Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates his win over Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene at the Australian Open yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates his win over Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene at the Australian Open yesterday. Pic/Getty Images

Roger Federer began the defence of his Australian Open title with a routine victory over Aljaz Bedene on Rod Laver Arena. Having arrived in Melbourne 12 months ago not knowing what to expect from himself following a six-month break to recuperate his knee, this time around Federer is confident in both mind and body.

He did not crush Bedene but one break in the first two sets and two in the third proved enough for a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win. Bedene created two chances on the Federer serve but could not take either and the second seed still had several gears to go as he cantered over the finish line. Federer, who next faces German Jan-Lennard Struff, said: "I was thinking back a lot about what happened last year so walking out here again is an amazing feeling and hopefully I can keep that going for a little bit longer."

The 19-time Grand Slam champion admitted he fears he is in for disappointment this year after the supreme high of 12 months ago, when he defeated Rafael Nadal in an epic five-set final. "My dream was always to play a long time on tour and we had a few guys playing a long time and I think that inspired me," he said post-match. "I'm loving it and hopefully I can play for a little longer." Federer is coming off an extraordinary 2017, when he won a fifth Australian Open title, and the way things are shaping there could be yet more glory. "I was thinking a lot about what happened at the tournament last year because it was my favourite tournament of the whole season... it was such a surprise," Federer said. "I'm hoping for it to go well again, I'm not sure it can go this well because last year was so good. I'm a year older and guys are coming back... I can't control it all.

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First Published: 17 January, 2018 08:57 IST

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