MELBOURNE, JANAURY 16: Defending champion Roger Federer was quickly into his majestic stride with a straight-sets victory over Slovenian Aljaz Bedene in his opening match at the Australian Open on Tuesday.
The 36-year-old Swiss turned the evening clash on packed Rod Laver Arena into an exhibition as he struck 41 winners to breeze past a willing but outclassed Bedene 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.
The only time Federer looked remotely stumped came during a post-match interview conducted by American comedian Will Ferrell who told him he had played like a “silky gazelle”.
“Don’t they get eaten in the end?,” Federer ventured before being asked whether he was a witch or a vampire and whether his age-defying performances were down to a diet of wombat meat.
While Ferrell provided bonus comedy, Federer again proved that when it comes to tennis he is the king of the jungle.
Any player hoping to stop him retaining his title and claiming a 20th Grand Slam will have to be pretty special on this evidence.
Federer looked just as imperious as when he won the last five games to beat Rafa Nadal in last year’s final.