Federer enjoys 'cat and mouse' win over Evans

Roger Federer enjoyed his "cat and mouse" clash against Dan Evans after recording a straight-sets win at the Australian Open.

The two-time defending champion was pushed hard before maintaining his record of having never lost in the second round in Melbourne, winning 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 on Wednesday.

In a high-quality clash, Federer hit 56 winners, while Evans was impressive and had his chances to grab at least one set.

The 20-time grand slam winner was full of praise for the Brit, who returned from a one-year drugs ban in April 2018.

"I think he's a good player. I've seen him play some really good matches over the years. I see why he can cause difficulties to players," Federer told a news conference.

"He's got a nice slice, defending the court well. He has the variation, which is always a hard thing to play against.

"He was feeling it, I thought. He was very sort of cat and mouse a bit, very interesting. I liked the match. I thought he was playing well. It was enjoyable."

Federer has seemingly encountered few issues adapting to the new Dunlop balls, which have faced criticism, being used at the year's first grand slam.

The 37-year-old said it was too early for him to judge the balls, but he had noticed a difference.

"They definitely play a touch different to the ones we've had the last couple years. At night the spin is not taking off tremendously," Federer said.

"I definitely have to go through a minor adjustment maybe from [the Hopman Cup in] Perth, which was a faster court.

"It's hard to out-spin guys here. As they changed the finals also to a night session, and the semis are also night sessions, I just feel like it's really important to have fast enough courts for night session conditions as the main matches are being played there. If you keep it slow, slow, at night the ball doesn't move.

"From that standpoint I think they have done a nice job of speeding up the courts. Now the ball, honestly it's still early in the tournament to tell you how it feels exactly. I still feel like you can serve your way out of trouble from the baseline. You can spin and slice, all that stuff we saw today.

"It is true, you can't out-spin a guy here. I think that's clear."

Federer will face 21-year-old American Taylor Fritz in the third round on Friday.

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