Millennium Post

Federer scrapes through to clinch season debut

Federer scrapes through to clinch season debut
Roger Federer avoided an embarrassing start to the new season when he dug himself out of trouble to beat little-known journeyman John Millman 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 at the Brisbane International on Thursday. What was expected to be a romp in the park for the Swiss maestro quickly turned into an old-fashioned scrap as he struggled to overcome a player ranked 153rd in the world who had only won three ATP matches in his career.

Federer, who needs just three more wins to chalk up 1,000 career victories, looked a shadow of the player who has captured 17 Grand Slam titles when he committed 38 unforced errors to the disbelief of the crowd at the Pat Rafter Arena.

The world number two conceded the opening set when he sprayed a forehand volley over the baseline then fell 3-1 behind in the second when he dropped serve for the second time in the match.

But once Federer elevated his game and began to eliminate some of his mistakes, Millman, a
25-year-old local from Brisbane who was given a wildcard to play in the Australian Open warm-up event, was unable to stay with him.

Federer twice broke Millman’s serve to claim the second set, then broke him twice more in the decider to book his place in Friday’s quarterfinal against wildcard James Duckworth.
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