As written in a previous article, it was predicted that the Swiss maestro would face Andreas Seppi first, followed by Marton Fucsovics, a player he had recently beaten in Dubai. However, as is with the unpredictability of tennis, neither of these outcomes have occurred.
Instead Federer played Germany's Peter Gojowczyk, who had managed to defeat Seppi in the previous round. Despite going into the match with the confidence of a victory under his belt, he was no match for Federer who swept past him in straight sets.
Although Federer was broken in the early stages of the second set, the Swiss quickly regained control of the match and won 6-1, 7-5
Federer's projected route then suggested that he would face Austria's Fucsovics in the round of 64, but on this occasion as well, this has turned out not to have been true.
Instead, Federer's next opponent is none other than his Swiss compatriot, Stan Wawrinka. It is unusual for two multiple grand slam winners to meet so early in a tournament, especially a Masters series, but this is a reflection of Wawrinka's ranking plummeting to 40th in the world.
This isn't an indicator of the Swiss' level however, but is more indicative of the lingering pain of his knee injury in 2017 that has restrained Wawrinka from reaching his highest level.
Nevertheless, Wawrinka thrives on competing with the best players, as evinced by his Grand Slam final victories over Djokovic and Nadal, and will no doubt enter the match against Federer with this fighting spirit, to prove he still has what it takes to be a top player.
Whilst this isn't to say that one should assume that Federer will be upset into an early exit, it is worthwhile to at least contemplate that possibility seriously now.
Although we are all aware of how good Wawrinka really is, it can be said with a degree of safety that if Federer is playing near or at his best, then he will likely be the one who will advance to the next round.
The result may not be certain as of right now, but what is certain is that the game will be an enjoyable one to watch, as both players always adopt attacking styles which produces the most entertaining matches between the Swiss compatriots.
Prediction: Federer to win in three sets.Published 12 Mar 2019, 18:31 IST