MELBOURNE: Swiss second seed Roger Federer bounced back after dropping the first set to trounce Italian Simone Bolelli and reach the third round at the Australian Open on Wednesday.
Federer, chasing his fifth Australian Open title, won 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in 2hr 9min and will next play either Frenchman Jeremy Chardy or Italy’s Andreas Seppi.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion lost the opening set after the only break on his serve, but he steadied and swept through the next three sets as Bolelli began to unravel.
Bolelli made 39 unforced errors as Federer ramped up the pressure to break the Italian’s service five times.
Federer changed tactics to rush the net to great effect.
“Simone played really well in the first set, I wasn’t playing badly, and I had to fight in the middle of the third set and go up a break to enable me to relax a little bit and play a touch better because of less pressure,” Federer said.
“He didn’t have to lose as much as me, I guess sometimes it can be an advantage and sometimes a disadvantage to be favourite.”
Federer has always made the third round in 16 attempts in Melbourne and has reached the semi-final stage for the last 11 Australian Opens. (AFP)