Refreshed Roger Federer makes encouraging start to year in Brisbane
- Modi takes on Mulayam, says SP misleading people under veil of secularism
- Next govt won't be formed without AAP support: Arvind Kejriwal
- Lok Sabha polls likely to commence in seven phases from April 2nd week
- China blames Islamic militants for attack by knife-wielding 'terrorists'
- Ordinances on Seemandhra, Rahul Bills are likely today
A refreshed Roger Federer's clinical demolition of Jarkko Nieminen in his first match of 2014 suggested he could be a factor in the first major of the year.
His debut appearance at the Brisbane International was rapturously greeted by tournament organisers and fans alike, but following his first year without a grand slam final appearance since 2002 it was not certain what stage of decline the Swiss ace was in.
A 6-4 6-2 victory over his tough Finnish opponent hinted that he was ready to put on a competitive showing at Melbourne Park, now relieved of the back problems that dogged his 2013 campaign and contributed to his second and fourth-round exits at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
"I'm actually very clear in my mind," Federer told reporters. "Now it's just down to forehands and backhands and tactics and movement. That's kind of what you want it to be, because unfortunately it hasn't always been that way last year with my issues."
The scoreline flattered Federer in some ways. Both men eked out four break points over the two sets and Nieminen fought on level terms at the baseline, hitting eye-catching forehand winners throughout.
Federer's mastery of the pivotal points of the match showed the steel behind the game's most graceful player remained firmly in place and his preference for playing new tournaments is far from a retirement tour.
For the crucial break of the first set he came from 0-40 down in the fifth game and then saved a break point on his own serve to build a two-game cushion.
In the second stanza he immediately grabbed the initiative, breaking in the first game and with his serve at near its imperious best he never looked like letting the advantage slip.
"I expect myself to play a bit better in the next match, even though today was already very good for a first match in so many weeks," Federer said.
- War in Congress: Old soldiers fight Rahul brigade | The Indian Express
- Aam Aadmi Party Lok Sabha 2014 Candidates – Full list
- ‘Allegations against Somnath Bharti prime facie correct, police justified in refusing Khirki Extension raid’
- Clash of the stalwarts: Uttar Pradesh set for Modi, Kejriwal rallies today