FEDERER MAKES ENCOURAGING START

Roger Federer started off his year in grand style at the Australian Open. He was embroiled in a little controversy at the pre-tournament meeting, but that was all put aside as he started his Australian Open, with his first round opponent being Alexexander Kudryavtsev from Russia.

Roger Federer is currently ranked no. 3, behind Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, and is looking for his fifth Australian Open title.

If the first match was anything to go by, then he could be a serious contender for the title. He saw off his Russian opponent in a shade over an hour and a half. He started a bit slowly in the first set and couldn’t break Kudryavtsev’s serve for some time, but he soon got a breakthrough and there was no stopping him from there.

It was the first time the Swiss faced the Russian and took a bit of time to figure him out as the newcomer showed no signs of stress playing at such a level. There were fears that the injury sustained by Federer in Doha just over a week ago might be serious, but the previous world no. 1 showed no such signs as he played along with his usual grace and efficiency.

The first set was tied at 5-5 as the new boy fended off two break points, but he finally succumbed to the pressures of serving for a set in a tiebreak in a Grand Slam. The seasoned champion broke his serve and from there onwards, it was easy sailing for the Swiss.

In the second set at 2-1, the Russian received treatment for a groin problem and Federer took full advantage of his opponent’s problem. He raced through the set and won it 6-2. In the third, and what was to be the final, set of the match, Federer shone through, winning it by the same margin as the second set.

The best tennis betting odds online show that Federer is now the joint second-favourite at 3/1, behind Novak Djokovic, who won here last year.

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