Australian Open 2020: Roger Federer cruises into third round; Fabio Fognini emerges victorious after marathon five-setter

  • Roger Federer, who has reached the third round at the Australian Open every year since his tournament debut in 2000, extended his streak by beating Filip Krajinovic 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 in the second round

  • Three-time major semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov has been eliminated at the Australian Open by 22-year-old American Tommy Paul in a second-round match that went to a fifth-set tiebreaker.

  • Seven-time champion Novak Djokovic avoided the same mistake he made three years go when he met a wild-card entry in the second round in Melbourne.

Melbourne: Fabio Fognini is taking no shortcuts so far at the Australian Open.

The 12th-seeded Italian has won a pair of five-setters to get to the third round at Melbourne Park — and because his latest win ended after midnight, he has competed on all four days since the tournament began.

Fognini needed more than four hours and a total of five match points to finally get past Jordan Thompson of Australia 7-6 (4), 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (4) in the second round.

In his opening match, which began Monday but concluded Tuesday after being suspended by rain, Fognini came back to win after falling into a two-sets-to-none hole against Reilly Opelka.

The match against Thompson started Wednesday and wasn't wrapped up until past 12:10 am on Thursday local time at Margaret Court Arena.

Because that one stretched so long, the last match scheduled for Wednesday on that court — No 10 Madison Keys vs. Arantxa Rus — was moved to Rod Laver Arena.

Federer extends streak

Roger Federer, who has reached the third round at the Australian Open every year since his tournament debut in 2000, extended his streak by beating Filip Krajinovic 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 in the second round.

The 20-time major champion has won the title in Australia six times and showed why against the 41st-ranked Krajinovic, winning in 1 hour, 32 minutes.

 Australian Open 2020: Roger Federer cruises into third round; Fabio Fognini emerges victorious after marathon five-setter

Roger Federer in action at the Australian Open 2020. AP

“I'm feeling really relaxed on court," the 38-year-old Federer said. "I'm happy. I'm still going, and looking forward to the next one, of course.”

Krajinovic's first-round match was delayed because of heavy rain on Day 1 of the tournament, and he had to get through a tough five-setter against Quentin Halys. Federer finished off a straight-set first-round win over Steve Johnson in 1:21 on Monday.

“It wasn't 100% fair he played 3 1/2 hours yesterday and I played zero,” Federer said. “Yeah, I do feel a little sorry ... but you've got to take advantage of it, I guess.”

Federer will next play John Millman, the Australian who produced an upset win over him at the 2018 US Open.

Grigor Dimitrov eliminated

Three-time major semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov has been eliminated at the Australian Open by 22-year-old American Tommy Paul in a second-round match that went to a fifth-set tiebreaker.

Paul had never won a Grand Slam match until this week.

Tommy Paul had never won a Grand Slam match until this week. AP

Tommy Paul had never won a Grand Slam match until this week. AP

He is ranked 80th.

But he built a two-sets-to-none lead against the 18th-seeded Dimitrov, gave that lead away, was two points from defeat and then pulled out the victory.

Dimitrov's semi-finals at major tournaments include a run to that stage in Australia three years ago and at the US Open in 2019.

Raonic sets up third-round clash against Tsitsipas

Milos Raonic has set up a third-round match against 2019 semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas by beating Cristian Garin 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 at Melbourne Arena.

Raonic, the 2016 Wimbledon runner-up, had 11 of his 19 aces in the third set.

Tsitsipas took advantage of a walkover in his second-round match, advancing without hitting a ball when Philipp Kohlschreiber pulled out of their match because of a muscle strain.

Tennys Sandgren upsets eighth-seed Matteo Berrettini

Tennys Sandgren has upset eighth-seeded Matteo Berrettini of Italy in five sets to reach the third round.

Sandgren is ranked only 100th.

He wasted a two-sets-to-none lead against 2019 U.S. Open semi-finalist Berrettini but managed to pull out the victory by a score of 7-6 (7), 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 7-5.

Sandgren improved to 4-0 in five-setters. It was also the fourth top-10 win of his career; two of the others also came at Melbourne Park, back in 2018, when Sandgren reached the quarter-finals.

Up next for Sandgren is an all-American matchup against Sam Querrey.

Divij Sharan-Artem Sitak pair enters second round

India's Divij Sharan and his New Zealand partner Artem Sitak progressed to the second round men's doubles event but Rohan Bopanna was knocked out of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Sharan and Sitak got the better of the Portuguese-Spanish duo of Pablo Carreno Busta and Joao Sousa 6-4 7-5 in a thrilling one hour, 28 minutes encounter.

The pair will next face the winner of the first-round match between 10th seeds Mate Pavic-Bruno Soares and Ben Molachlan-Luke Bambridge.

Partnering Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan, Bopanna went down to USA's Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, 1-6 6-3 3-6 in a hard-fought one hour, 17 minutes contest.

However, it is not the end of the road for Bopanna. The 39-year-old will partner with comeback star Sania Mirza in the mixed doubles event.

On Tuesday, India's top-ranked tennis player Prajnesh Gunneswaran missed out on a chance to play against world number two Novak Djokovic after crashing out in the men's singles opening round.

Novak Djokovic eases past Tatsuma Ito 

Djokovic beat Tatsuma Ito 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 in a swirling breeze on Rod Laver Arena to advance to a third-round match against another Japanese player, Yoshihito Nishioka, who is coming off a win over 30th-seeded Dan Evans.

In 2017, Djokovic was upset in the second round by Denis Istomin who, like Ito, had earned his spot in the main draw by winning the Asia-Pacific wild-card playoff. That was Djokovic's worst performance in Australia since a first-round exit in 2006.

His experience at Melbourne Park counted as the wind picked up in the afternoon.

“Credit to (Ito) for fighting to the end. Tough conditions out here," Djokovic said. “The wind can get you out of your comfort zone very quickly."

Tsitsipas advances after Philipp Kohlschreiber pulls out

Sixth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas got a walkover into the third round at Melbourne Park when Philipp Kohlschreiber pulled out of their scheduled match because of a muscle strain.

Tsitsipas will face either Milos Raonic or Cristian Garin in the third round. Tsitsipas has become a local favorite due to Melbourne's large Greek population.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jan 22, 2020 20:03:30 IST