Federer wary of 'Baby Fed'

MELBOURNE • Roger Federer hopes to erase his shock defeat in last year's Australian Open third round as he set up a last-32 showdown with Grigor Dimitrov - the Bulgarian once dubbed "Baby Fed".

The Swiss was never in trouble against his Ukrainian practice partner Alexandr Dolgopolov in a clinical 6-3, 7-5, 6-1 win on Rod Laver Arena yesterday.

Next up is 27th seed Dimitrov, who has long been tagged "Baby Fed" because of his similarities to Federer's elegant game.

After his campaign last season ended at this stage with a stunning defeat by Italy's Andreas Seppi, the Swiss hopes to avoid another upset this time around.

"Grigor did well in Sydney and that definitely will give him a bit of a lift," said the world No. 3.

"I think it's a tough draw. He's got the game to be really dangerous. He's fit enough for a five-setter so I've gotta definitely bring my best game to the court."


  • Men's 2nd rd: Andreas Seppi(Ita) bt Denis Kudla (USA) 7-5 6-4 6-4, Gilles Simon (Fra) bt Evgeny Donskoy (Rus) 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7-1) 4-6 7-5, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Fra) bt Omar Jasika (Aus) 7-5 6-1 6-4, Kei Nishikori (Jpn) bt Austin Krajicek (USA) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 6-3, Grigor Dimitrov (Bul ) bt Marco Trungelliti (Arg) 6-3 4-6 6-2 7-5, Dominic Thiem (Aut) bt Nicolas Almagro (Esp) 6-3 6-1 6-3, David Goffin (Bel x15) bt Damir Dzumhur (Bih) 6-4 0-6 6-4 6-2, Marin Cilic (Cro) bt Albert Ramos (Esp) 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7-4), Nick Kyrgios (Aus) bt Pablo Cuevas (Uru) 6-4 7-5 7-6 (7-2), Tomas Berdych (Cze) bt Mirza Basic (Bih) 6-4 6-0 6-3.

    Women's 2nd rd: MargaritaGasparyan (Rus) bt Kurumi Nara (Jpn) 6-4 6-4, Yulia Putintseva (Kaz) bt Han Xinyun (Chn) 6-3 6-1, Belinda Bencic (Sui) bt Timea Babos (Hun) 6-3 6-3, Kateryna Bondarenko (Ukr) bt Svetlana Kuznetsova (Rus) 6-1 7-5, Monica Puig (Pur) bt Kristyna Pliskova (Cze) 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 9-7, Roberta Vinci (Ita) bt Irina Falconi (USA) 6-2 6-3, Carla Suarez (Esp) bt Maria Sakkari (Gre) 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-2, Kristina Mladenovic (Fra) bt Nicole Gibbs (USA) 6-1 7-6 (7-4).

Federer's loss to Seppi condemned him to his earliest exit from the season's first Grand Slam in 14 years.

Against Dimitrov, he will be seeking his 300th Grand Slam singles victory as he chases his fifth title at the Australian Open, and first since 2010.

Despite his success in the sport, the 34-year-old father revealed that he has no plans to coerce his children into being tennis players.

Federer and his wife Mirka have two sets of twins - six-year-old girls Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, and one-year-old boys Leo and Lenny. But he would rather they played another sport.

"I will support them all the way whatever they want to do, but I don't see myself doing that right now," he said of sitting in a player box later in life cheering on his tennis kids. "I'd rather support them in another sport. Go see them be a super skier. That would be exciting."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 21, 2016, with the headline 'Federer wary of 'Baby Fed''. Print Edition | Subscribe