MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Roger Federer had to deal with the bigger-than-life serving Ivo Karlovic and Caroline Wozniacki tamed the crafty shot-maker Monica Niculescu on Friday to book spots in the round of 16 at the Australian Open.
World No. 3 FedererÂ overcame a set point against him with an acrobatic exchange at the net to stop the 6-foot 10 Croatian Ivo Karlovic 7-6(6), 7-5, 6-3.
“Yeah, I mean, it was a tough breaker for me,” said Federer, “just the way it all turned out to be, and him then having the chance to serve it out at 6â€‘5 definitely made it difficult.
“Thank God, you know, he gave me a second serve and gave me a slight chance.Â Might have had a little bit of a lucky volley, but quick reflexes at the net so that can happen.
“Then running up there, I didn’t know what to do anymore.Â Probably left and right, going to go too slow and he’s going to slam it home.Â Let me try the lob, even though that’s not what you’re supposed to do against him.Â I got sort of the angle right and was able maybe to surprise him, we’re that close to each other, so it’s hard to kind of react quick maybe up.
” I don’t know.Â It kind of worked, and then I had a great return after that.Â I was almost home.Â So it was a good turn of events for me then.
” Then after that, I maybe relaxed a bit.Â I got a bit of a better read on his serve potentially and just, you know, also knew what I wanted to do also on my own service games.
” It was a big first set, clearly. ”
The Swiss will face the winner of the Bernard Tomic – Alexander Dolgopolov encounter.
Caroline WozniackiÂ spoke to media about the match: “I mean, we had a lot of long rallies because she got a lot of balls back.Â With her slice forehand as well it was tough to finish out the point sometimes.
” I felt like I was in control.”
The winner ofÂ Â the Christina McHale – Jelena Jankovic match will play Wozniacki next.
Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News