Federer through after test
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:14
Arriving in Melbourne with a comprehensive win against Stanislas Wawrinka under his belt the world number two looked on course for another dominant showing.
But Seppi had other ideas dragging the three-time former champion into a dogfight before eventually going down 6-1 7-6 (7-4) 7-5.
The world number two took the first set of the final match of day one in just 24 minutes but it was a different story in the second, which he eventually won on the tiebreak as Seppi’s nerve faltered.
The third set followed a similar path, although Federer did have match point in the 10th game only for Seppi to dig deep to hold his serve.
Seppi then had chance to break the Swiss star, chasing his record-equalling 14th grand slam title, only to fire his forehand into the net.
It was enough to give Federer a sniff and the 27-year-old Swiss held his serve but still could not close out the match as he squandered two further match points on Seppi’s serve before a Seppi error handed him victory.
It was the Italian’s ninth loss in 16 grand slam appearances and his second to Federer this year after going down against the Swiss star in the second round in Doha.
Federer’s next opponent is qualifier Evgeny Korolev who defeated former world number one Carlos Moya 6-3 6-1 7-6 (9-7) in his opening match.