FED­ERER WARY OF IS­TOMIN

NewsMail - - SPORT - – Leo Schlink

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.

Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty

READY TO GO: Roger Fed­erer.

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