Champion Roger Federer played through the scorching heat of Melbourne ans secured a win against German Jan-Lennard Struff as he won 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(4) making his way to the third round of the Australian Open on yesterday.
The cool and composed Federer eased through the opening two sets under but was dragged into a scrap in the third as the 55th-ranked Struff went for broke.
The 36-year-old was momentarily taking a knock when he slipped 3-1 down but worked his way back to take the set into a tiebreak on the hot night.
Struff backhand helped him save a match point but down the line but fell when Federer delivered a powerful serve into the corner.
Federer will go head to head with French 29th seed Richard Gasquet for a place in the last 16 as he continues his bid for a 20th grand slam title.
Ferderer had no qualms for being scheduled to play at night as temperatures, which peaked at 40 degrees Celsius in the afternoon, had dipped to more manageable levels.
“We know it can be very hot here in Australia. I remember the days when we had four days of 40 degrees in a row a few years back. Now we got two,” he said.
“It’s definitely a challenge. It’s hard to prepare for that in some ways. But you know when you come down here that can happen. I‘m happy I played at night-time. But I would back myself playing during the daytime also,” He continued.
Federer broke the Struff serve in the fifth game when he ripped a forehand past the advancing German.
That proved enough to take the first set and he needed just one break, this time achieved with a rasping backhand pass, to claim the decisive break at 3-3 in the second.
Federer could never truly relax though and Struff broke for a 3-1 lead in the third set with some forceful tennis.
His advantage did not last long though as Federer replied in the next game and from then on Federer assumed control.