Federer pleased to get through tough second-round clash


Australian Open third seed Roger Federer believes his straight-sets victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov will benefit him in the long run as he looks to win an 18th grand slam crown.

Federer reached the third round at Melbourne Park for a 17th consecutive year after defeating Dolgopolov 6-3 7-5 6-1 on Wednesday.

A step up in class from first-round opponent Nikoloz Basilashvili, Dolgopolov - ranked 35th in the world - was expected to test Federer, but the four-time Australian Open champion was a class above on Rod Laver Arena.

Nonetheless, Federer feels that was the kind of match needed to sharpen his game at this stage of the tournament.

"If I keep on wining it was definitely a good thing," the 34-year-old said afterwards.

"Also had to work on defense quite heavily for I'd say for the first two sets. After that, I let loose a little bit and was able to hit more freely, which was a good thing. The serving definitely helped.

"But, I'm a big fan of his game. He's explosive; got a great return, especially on the second serve. He's got all the shots. Just for him managing how to use what at what time.

"I'm very pleased with this win. I think it's a tough second round. My opinion, he's better than a lot of the guys who are ranked ahead of him.

"So looking ahead, I was not worried about the match, but I had a lot of respect for it."

Federer never allowed the Ukrainian to get into the contest thanks to a serving masterclass, which yielded 25 aces and a loss of just 16 points on serve.

The Swiss maestro also avoided facing a break point after one hour, 33 minutes on centre court.

Of his serving, Federer added: "I think it's a very important part of the game. I think everybody should work on it, to be honest. It's the only shot that we can actually really control. The rest we are reacting to.

"And then I thought today I did serve very well. Maybe just matched up well with maybe Dolgopolov maybe wasn't seeing it as well. But also conditions are fast during the daytime, so that helps to be able to serve through opponents."