Roger Federer’s name has been in the news in recent days mostly for Rafael Nadal bad mouthing the all time leader in grand slam titles, but his 2012 Australian Open began postively with a straight sets win over Alexander Kudryavtsev in the first round on the first day at Melbourne, winning 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.
Rafael Nadal stirred quite a few people with his comments regarding Federer’s inactivity and unwillingness to criticize the ATP tour regarding the scheduling and the number of matches the players have to play each year, making the prospect of the two meeting in the Semi Final even more exciting than ever, now that maybe some personal rivalry is thrown into the mix. Nothing beats hatred to fuel a fire between athletes.
Nadal eased his way through earlier, and Federer did the same. Later admitting that he had to look up Kudryavtsev on the internet to see what the 26 year old Russian, ranked 172 in the world, can do. He made it through the qualifying round to play his first round of a major tournament despite his relativity advanced age.
I’m pretty sure Federer was just being polite when he spoke to Courier about the dangers of facing an opponent you don’t know. How good can he be if he still hasn’t broken through? The first set took some time to solve, with Federer blasting away with aces while Kudryavtsev took quite a few risks with down the line shots that paid off, until it finally started catching up with him.
The next two sets, both ending 6-2, 6-2, were more of what was expected from this match between two players so far apart in quality, ability and their actual rankings. Federer’s on to the second round, facing either Andreas Beck or Eric Prodon.