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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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17.01.2007 | 17:09
congratulations Rog!!
Great match, great win

Je T' aDoRe,
Je T' aDoRe,
Je T' aDoRe,
17.01.2007 | 16:35
Very Very Very WEL DONE ,Rogerrr!!I'll just say that keep it more up!!!GO GO GO ROGIIII!
17.01.2007 | 16:16
Well done Roger, best of luck against Youzhny ^_^
17.01.2007 | 16:11
Hey, Federer, good job!!!! Congratulations for arriving at the third round!!! Things are starting to get harder now, so you really have to give the best of yourself in the next coming matches and rounds!!!! I'll be here, supporting to you, and waiting and
17.01.2007 | 15:58
congs rog....keep it up!..
17.01.2007 | 15:50
Hey Rogi!!!
I hope u play really well and win this GRANDSLAM once again and keep winnng it over the years!!!
Good Luck!!!
My Good wishes r always with u!!!

17.01.2007 | 15:47
R O G I !!!
Excellent Champ.. u r finding ur own way in this matches.
U r playing very well... Its really nice to see you play. U r wonderful.
See you winning against Youznhy and of course, see you winning this Australian Slam.
All my energy 4 U !!!
17.01.2007 | 15:45

I was able to look calmly from beginning to end today. It is pleasant that I watch your splendid shot. Next to Mikhail Youzhny. Do its best as always!

17.01.2007 | 15:24
Dear ROGER tanke you this match was so better than the first match
17.01.2007 | 15:18
Dear Roger,

Congrats on another win much improved then the last match which is to be expected from you it takes time to find the right form and get the rhythm which iam pleased to see.

The only thing i have to say is that you are getting alittle moo