FEDERER WARY OF ISTOMIN
TENNIS: Roger Federer needs no prompting to reflect on the 2017 Australian Open.
The tournament marked his first major success in five years, crowned with successive five-set triumphs over Stan Wawrinka and nemesis Rafael Nadal.
Federer’s stunning renaissance aside, the ’17 edition was also significant for second seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic’s surprise second-round loss to Denis Istomin.
Federer watched most of Istomin’s dismantling of six-time champion Djokovic and, despite a 6-0 head-to-head tally against the Uzbek, the Swiss is not taking anything for granted tonight.
“I know what Denis did to Novak,” Federer said.
“I watched basically the entire game a couple years ago when he beat Novak here.
“I’ve had some tough ones against him in the past. He can play well in fast courts, and that’s what it’s going to be a little bit here as well.
“Look, I’m playing good tennis. I’m confident that I think it needs a good performance by my opponent probably to beat me. That’s always a good thought. But then again, I think I’m playing well.
“Depending on how you match up with your opponent, who is going to win the big points, the margins are so slim nowadays that I’m just not thinking too far ahead.
“I don’t think I should because I think that would be a mistake. I hope I can put myself in contention as the tournament goes deeper, but we’ll see.”
Chasing his 100th career title at Melbourne Park, Federer could register a century of Open wins if he takes a seventh title here. The world No.3 has lost only once before the semi-finals since 2003.
READY TO GO: Roger Federer.