Federer 'very happy' to beat Serena in doubles, despite her 'aura'

May JohnsonJan 18, 2019

The 19-year-old Sydneysider looked in trouble heading to a deciding set but rallied in front of a raucous home crowd to triumph 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (9-7), 4-6, 6-3.

De Minaur won 11 points more than his rival but he had to dig deep to earn the win and the clash against Rafael Nadal, despite the fact he got broken just four times in nearly four hours. Three breaks of serve in the third set propelled Khachanov into the next round where he will face the 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

Henri bounced back in set number three, opening a 4-1 advantage and recovering after de Minaur pulled the break back to reach the tie break.

Ebden produced some outstanding instances of defence, including one that saw him win a rally despite falling onto his back as he avoided a double break in the set's fifth game. For me, when I play Venus or something, I'm star-struck, too.

Federer will face 21-year-old American Taylor Fritz in the third round on Friday.

Australian Open got underway in Melbourne with the big guns - Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams - all waltzing through the first round with minimal fuss.

Outside of the nit picking, de Minaur has an incredibly well rounded game for one so young in his career.

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Melbourne Park is awash with anticipation of a predicted showdown between Nadal, the No.2 seed, and new Australian pin-up Alex de Minaur in the third round of the men's draw.

As the son of a Uruguayan father and Spanish mother who has spent much of his life in Spain, De Minaur grew up watching Nadal's remarkable feats.

"I've still got lots of years to play so I'm confident I'll be playing at a good standard again, but you're always itching to get things done immediately".

"It will be tough one and I need to be ready for it".

Also on the top half of the women's draw is No. 4 seed and 2018 U.S. Open champion and No. 4 seed Naomi Osaka of Japan, No. 6 seed and 2018 WTA Tour year-end singles champion Elina Svitolina of Ukraine and former Wimbledon and French Open champion and world No. 1 Garbine Muguruza of Spain.

Nadal pulled out of his Brisbane warm-up event two weeks ago with a thigh strain but showed no sign of the injury woes that saw him limp out of both the Australian Open and US Open past year.

Ebden, ranked world No. 48, didn't play all that bad but had no answer to Nadal's booming groundstrokes with his forehand doing most of the damage. "I think I did a few things very well", the Spaniard said after the match. He was feeling it today, I thought.

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