Roger Federer was stretched to two tie-breakers in his second round match at the 2019 Australian Open before making it further in the draw while Marin Cilic needed four sets to advance. Kevin Anderson had no such luck as he was sent packing by Frances Tiafoe in his second round encounter.
Federer found it tough to break his British opponent, Daniel Evans in the opening set and it went into a tie-breaker. Evans raced to a 5-3 lead only for the Swiss maestro to knock off four points in a row to pocket the set.
It looked like Evans was struggling with blisters in his foot and was then broken early in the second set. Federer looked like it was all going to plan but Evans showed a lot of courage to break Federer and force the second set into a tie-breaker yet again.
This time though, Federer had it easier and he clinched the second set too.
It was only in the third set that Federer was able to get away with early breaks and as his service game improved as well, Evans’ game fell away. Federer completed the victory 7-6, 7-6, 6-3.
Speaking at the end of the encounter, Federer said:
“I couldn’t pull away in the match earlier. I think he played very well, as I said he made it difficult for me to pull away. Margins are slim, if you don’t win the set-points you have you could well be two sets down.”
In some of the other men’s singles second round matches, Cilic required four sets to get past Mackenzie McDonald, in a match that lasted three hours and 37 minutes. He ground past his opponent 7-5, 6-7 (9), 6-4, 6-4 to set up a meeting against the 26th seeded Fernando Verdasco. Verdasco beat Radu Albot in straight sets.
Anderson was however sent out by Frances Tiafoe, who overcame the loss of the first set to complete a four-set win. The fifth seeded Anderson, who had never gone past round one here since 2015, had needed four sets against Adrian Mannarino as well, but succumbed early here.