Published: Wed, January 17, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Federer wins against Bedene in Melbourne

Federer wins against Bedene in Melbourne

Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer got a bit more than he bargained for during his post-match interview at the Australian Open after a surprise appearance by comedian Will Ferrell.

Six-time champion Novak Djokovic and 2014 Australian Open victor Stan Wawrinka earlier made successful returns from injury lay-offs with victories in their first matches since Wimbledon.

Federer looked just as imperious as when he won the last five games to beat Rafa Nadal in last year's thrilling final and end a five-year wait for his 18th major.

Roger Federer has been met on court after wins at the Australian Open previously by tennis greats Rod Laver, John McEnroe and Jim Courier.

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The 30-year-old, seeded 14th after missing the second half of 2017 with an elbow injury, won 6-1 6-2 6-4 while wearing a support sleeve on his right arm.

Poor Bedene, no mean performer at world number 51, can now at least say he has witnessed Federer's brilliance first hand, having never previously faced him. I can't control it all, it was a fairy tale.

Federer is defending the title as a 36-year-old but believes he is too old to be considered favourite to claim a record 20th grand slam title.

“Last year was last year. Ill keep working hard and see what happens at the end.”.

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It was a confidence booster for the 2014 Melbourne Park champion, who had a troubled lead-in to the years opening Grand Slam, pulling out of an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi on his way to Australia. He admitted that he still felt pain in the knee, but it was getting better. "I'm happy I dodged some questions there".

But he looked in good shape as he worked his way into the second round where he will play either Frances Gael Monfils or Spanish qualifier Jaume Munar.

Although he definitely seemed tired as the match wore on, Djokovic looked relatively comfortable in his first Grand Slam in over six months.

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