Swiss great, Roger Federer continues his quest for a record-equaling seventh Australian Open title on Wednesday when he takes on Serbia's Filip Krajinovic in the second round.
Roger Federer vs Filip Krajinovic Match Info
Date: Wednesday January 22
Tournament: Australian Open R2
Court: Rod Laver Arena
Time: 8.30pm local time (9.30am GMT)
Roger Federer vs Filip Krajinovic Head-to-Head
Federer leads 3-0
2019 | Miami R32: Federer bt. Krajinovic 7-5 6-3
2018 | Basel R32: Federer bt. Krajinovic 6-2 4-6 6-4
2018 | Indian Wells R32: Federer bt. Krajonovic 6-2 6-1
Roger Federer vs Filip Krajinovic Match Preview
Federer got through his tournament opener without much trouble, breezing past Steve Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2 to maintain his proud perfect record in the first round of the Australian Open. The 38-year-old is competing in the Melbourne main draw for the 21st consecutive season, and he’s never failed to cross the opening round in each of the 21 years.
Federer was playing his first match since a semi-final defeat to Stefanos Tsitsipas at November’s Nitto ATP Finals, but he was quickly into his stride against Johnson, earning the early break in the American’s opening serving game to take a 2-0 lead. The third seed had to save a break point in the next game, but that was only a minor hiccup, and he would not face another break point in the remainder of the match.
The Swiss was hardly troubled on serve, firing down 11 aces, and converting 82% and 76% of points on his first and second serves respectively. He struck 34 winners and just 20 unforced errors in a very serene beginning to his Melbourne campaign.
“…I broke early each set and was able to get on a roll, play freely after that. And also, I felt I had margin. Anything I was doing I felt like I had the game under control. That might not be the case in the next round, so I just think I have to be careful. Round-by-round, point-for-point mentality. I know other guys that are playing extremely well right now so I think it’s just important to stay very calm about things right now.”
Federer has not won a major since he defeated Marin Cilic in the 2018 Australian Open final, with the closest he’s come to adding a 21st Grand Slam title to his collection being at Wimbledon last year, where he missed two match points in an epic five-set defeat to Novak Djokovic.
Despite that disappointment, Federer still put together a fine season, winning titles in Dubai, Miami, Halle and Basel. He is now at 103 career titles, just six behind Jimmy Connors’ all-time record. Federer was initially scheduled to open his 2020 season at the ATP Cup, but he pulled out of that tournament partly to preserve himself for a tilt at another Australian Open title.
Only Novak Djokovic has more Australian Open men’s singles titles than Federer, and the Swiss maestro may well run into his Serbian rival later in the fortnight, with both juggernauts projected to clash in the semi-finals. That potential clash is for later, but Federer’s most pressing assignment is to take down Djokovic’s compatriot, Krajinovic in the second round on Wednesday.
Krajinovic is aiming to make the third round of the Australian Open for the second successive season. Prior to last year, the Serbian had failed to win a match in his two previous trips to Melbourne Park, but he got off the mark in 2019, beating Marco Cecchinato and Evgeny Donskoy before falling to Borna Coric.
The 27-year-old Krajinovic is a genuine talent, but he has been blighted by injury problems for much of his career, and has drifted in and out of the top 100 over the years. He was at No. 105 in April last year, but he did very well to earn himself a year-end top-40 ranking.
Krajinovic put together a 27-17 record at tour level in 2019, reaching finals in Budapest and Stockholm. The former world No. 26 also had a couple of good weeks on the Challenger Tour, winning in Heilbronn and making the final at the Sophia Antipolis Challenger.
The Serbian started his 2020 campaign in Doha, beating Kyle Edmund in his season opener before falling to Fernando Verdasco in the second round. He then survived a marathon contest in the first round of the Australian Open, fighting off Frenchman, Quentin Halys 7-6 7-6 3-6 4-6 7-5 after nearly four hours. Krajinovic trailed by a break in the final set against Halys, but from 4-3 down, he won four of the next five games to pull off an epic win.
Can he cause Federer problems when he faces the mighty Swiss in the second round on Wednesday?
Roger Federer vs Filip Krajinovic Match Prediction
Krajinovic has lost all of his three previous matches against Federer, taking just a set off the Swiss in Basel in 2018. The Serbian is a fine ball striker, dangerous off either wing, and is the sort of player that can reel off winners very quickly if he gets on a roll. I think he will push Federer harder than Steve Johnson did in the first round, but the third seed should have too much variety in the locker for the Serbian.