Australian Open 2019: Roger Federer sails into Round 3 with win over Dan Evans
In round 2 of the 2019 Australian Open, two-time defending champion Roger Federer defeated qualifier Daniel Evans, who is playing his first Grand Slam main draw since returning from a one-year doping suspension. All things considered, it was a fighting performance by the 189th seeded Evans.
The first set was neck to neck with tremendous rallies, killer blows, superb net play and of course a few unforced errors. The two players stayed with each other until 6-6, taking the set to a tiebreaker. Federer showed his experience there and remained steady to take the set 7-6(5).
With the lead of the first set, the defending champion got a break early in the second set. But Evans continued to play hard and fired a cross-court backhand winner to level it up at 5-5.
There was another tiebreaker, and memories of Federer's last Slam match - against John Millman at the 2018 US Open - resurfaced. But this was the moment where Federer regrouped and served it out to seal the set with an ace.
The first two hours of the match were evidently intense as the gallant Evans showed his determined play and made everybody stick to their seats. He seemed convinced that he had a chance to come back and work his way to a great victory.
But Federer had other ideas. Using his web-like game, amazing backhand, crazy loops and extreme angles, he worked the points before landing the killer blow. Ultimately he held off the stern test from Evans to win 7-6, 7-6, 6-3.
Federer roared in delight after the win, and justifiably so - he was pushed greatly in this cracker of a match.
Meanwhile, 20-year-old Frances Tiafoe bagged the biggest win of his career over the fifth seed Kevin Anderson 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 to reach the third round at the Australian Open.