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Roger outperforms Jonas Bjorkman in Melbourne

17.01.2007 | Tennis

Roger advanced to the third round of the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Jonas Bjorkman on Wednesday, maintaining his record of never dropping a set against the Swede.


It was his second lopsided win over Bjorkman in the last three Grand Slam tournaments. He beat the 34-year-old doubles expert in straight sets in the Wimbledon semifinals last year as a warmup to beating Spain's Rafael Nadal in the final.


Unlike his opening match against Bjorn Phau, when Roger lost serve three times in the first set, he came out sharp, ripping six forehand winners in the first three games as he jumped to a 3-0 lead that he never relinquished.


Always a perfectionist, he nevertheless berated himself after errors and took practice swings to make sure he didn't repeat the mistakes.


Bjorkman had his share of fans sprinkled in the near-capacity crowd on a humid day that started overcast, unlike Tuesday's broiling sun. One group, in hats, shirts and face paint in Swedish blue-and-yellow, chanted support for Bjorkman and rewarded his winners with "That's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, we like it."


Roger made sure there was not much for them to like, hitting 38 clean winners and dropping serve once in the first and third sets.


Roger took just an hour to pocket the first two sets, using pinpoint accuracy from the baseline to thwart Bjorkman's forays to the net.


The Swede relied on drops and some improvised shotmaking to work Roger around, but it rarely worked consistently in the match that lasted one hour 35 minutes.


Roger served for the match just as the sun broke through the clouds. On match point, he jumped high for an overhead. Bjorkman got it back, only to have him whack another overhead, this time out of reach for the Swede.


"I think I was pretty much in control," Roger told reporters.


He knew he would not get many letoffs against Bjorkman, who has a few more tricks in his arsenal.


"You're always a bit worried because he's got a lot of experience. He's not going to back down from a physical challenge, as well. I knew if I kept my serve going it would make it tough for Jonas, it was a good match from my side. I knew if it ever got close he has the experience. You know you're in for a fight if it gets tough, so you want to have the distance."


"Jonas is a great guy, he always puts up a good fight. Today it went my way, I'm playing pretty well right now." said our champion, who improved to 5-0 in career head-to-head meetings.


"I didn't give him so many chances like I did against Phau - I think it's a bit of an improvement."


The win set up a tricky third-round match against Russian 25th seed and U.S. Open semifinalist Mikhail Youzhny.


"He upset Rafael Nadal at last year’s U.S. Open and I have played him several times so I know what a great player he is," Roger said.


Victory against the Russian would likely set Roger up for a mouthwatering fourth-round encounter with in-form 14th seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia, who beat Feliciano Lopez.


The 19-year-old has has not lost a set in the tournament, and with a title under his belt at Adelaide this season Roger appreciates he is one for the future.


"I didn't see anything of Adelaide. Of course I will follow him a little bit more close. He's definitely playing well and confident and everything, but I've got other things to worry about in the next round."

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19.01.2007 | 11:54
You are the best! Good luck!!!

19.01.2007 | 03:46
I know this is 2 days late but YAY ROGER!

Love and hugs,
Cori USA
19.01.2007 | 00:58
Come on Roger go on in Australia and win it again bye good luck
18.01.2007 | 23:53
Wow! What a photo. Well done the team! That was a splendid finish.
18.01.2007 | 21:11
Best of Luck in your next match.
Go, go, go!

18.01.2007 | 19:57

Great form, Roger!

Best of luck with Youzhny...

Love forever,

Daley xxx
18.01.2007 | 19:57
Hi Rog,
Those Swedish fans are a bit obnoxious. I am so glad you are not from Sweden.
Idiot: a foolish or senseless person.
Genious: a person with exceptional ability in a particular subject or activity.
I reckon you are the 2nd one.
Have an exceptio
18.01.2007 | 19:33
congrat's, rogi!
the smash was fantastic!
c'mon roger!
you're the best!
greetzz Lien
18.01.2007 | 17:21
Well done, Roger!!!
Good luck tonigt!!! ^_^
18.01.2007 | 14:22
Dear Roger,

I just wanted to wish you all the luck in the world for your next match against Mikhail i know his a good player but i still believe you have to much in your book of amazing shots that will win the day fingers crossed.

Did anyone notice
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