Roger Federer takes decisive win in Round 2 at Australian Open 2017
The young American Noah Rubin put up a solid fight against the Swiss, who eventually took a straight sets win.
Former World No. 1 Roger Federer defeated American youngster Noah Rubin in straight sets – 7-5, 6-3, 7-6(3) at both players’ second round match in Melbourne today. Playing in front of a packed crowd at the Rod Laver Arena, Federer started off fairly slowly, and although he managed to stretch Rubin to break on multiple occasions, but was unable to capitalize.
20-year-old qualifier Rubin, a junior Wimbledon singles winner, put up a solid fight against Federer in a match that lasted just over two hours, and matched Federer in his aggressive shot-making; he saw the Swiss run across court to make returns on several occasions.
Both players put up a solid fight to begin the match. There were no breaks of serve here, although Federer took Rubin to break on multiple occasions. The American staved off break point every time, even coming up from 0-40 to hold a service game.
The 20-year-old showed a few nerves during his match, but got stuck in to his game, and showed some great shot variation from the baseline early on. He played some quick reflex shots – almost akin to the kind Federer and Djokovic have become known for, but it was eventually Federer, with two breaks of serve, who dialed up the pressure in the end of the first set to take a 7-5 win.
Both players picked up speed in the second set, getting quicker and more aggressive with their shots. Federer in particular pulled out some of his signature shots and sent some perfectly placed cross-court forehands.
Federer dialed up the aggression in this set, and that looked to have rubbed off on his game, with the Swiss taking the first break of the set at 4-2. Rubin matched Federer on speed and was able to accurately preempt a number of shots, notably returning a Federer drop shot before the Maestro returned with a just-in-the-line forehand across the court.
Although he had the opportunity to break back here, Rubin was unable to build on it, with Federer bringing out some attacking backhand shots to hold.
In the end, Federer ended what had been largely a one-sided set 6-3 and established dominance.
Rubin mounted a return attack in the third set, and took a quick break for a 2-0 lead. That appeared to rattle the usually calm Swiss somewhat, and with Rubin up 3-0 in the third, Federer looked a slightly worried man.
Channeling his aggression into the game, the Swiss put down an almost horizontal slice. Nothing he did, however, seemed to be enough, with Rubin at a 4-1 lead and poised to quickly take the set. Federer’s nerves here also saw his unforced error count mount quickly, to 33 by this point. He pulled it together to trail 3-5, with Rubin serving for the set.
Federer’s aggression helped him yet again here, with the Swiss pulling back a near-miraculous fight back from 2-5 to 5 all in the third set.
After taking that set to a tiebreak, Federer took a mini-break and eventually won the tiebreak 7-3.
Federer will face Tomas Berdych in Round 3.