Federer opens Australian Open 2013 with a customary win
At the age of 31, Roger Federer looked as healthy as a horse as he marched into the Rod Laver Arena in a customary manner on the opening day of the Australian Open 2013. Federer is no newbie to the tournament. He has been here 13 times before this. But this opening round match would have seemed oddly different, perhaps a little more difficult, for him. It is the first time Roger Federer is coming in for a Grandslam tournament without playing any warm-up tournaments.
Ask why and Federer quips, “I’ve had a few busy years since I had kids. I just wanted to cool down a bit. It’s nice to enjoy the off-season. I hope it’s the right decision, we’ll see how it goes. I’m confident in my play.”
He wasn’t wrong! He was just as confident as he usually is. To add to his relief, his opponent wasn’t a major threat. Benoit Paire, the 23-year old French player had a good serve, but lacked the consistency required to match the mastery of Roger Federer. Federer eased through the first two sets where he lured himself back to form. Paire’s patience had been tested enough though. He took a wild swing at the third set, in all hopes to produce more winners. But the effort was in vain. Federer crushed him and took the match. Paire was lucky to win one game in the final set. Federer eventually took the match 6-2 6-4 6-1.
When asked about what he thought about his young opponent, Federer said, “Benoît’s a good player, a good talent.” But he went on to admit that he was relieved to have got through the first round the way he did. Federer comes into this tournament looking for his 5th title. While he can afford to take his time in the first few matches to find his rhythm, he would be wary of his fierce opponents who he would have to face in order to cross the final barrier. Only then can one say whether the decision to play no warm-ups was a good one or not.