Australian Open 2017: Roger Federer eyes improvement after moving ahead


Greg Garber joined ESPN in 1991 and provides reports for NFL Countdown and SportsCenter. Roger Federer knocked Michael Chang, a former Grand Slam champion, off the court in straight sets.

Czech Republic's 10th seed Berdych raced into the third round with the minimum fuss after securing a routine 6-3 7-6 6-2 victory over American Ryan Harrison.

Federer eventually broke back to force a tie-break, which he clinched 7-3. There were, "a lot of hard points, which is what I need".

"I was hoping to play better at times. That's my advantage", Federer said.

Federer didn't play after his semifinal exit at Wimbledon previous year, resting his injured left knee. I think he had the upper hand from the baseline. Berdych has won 51 of 58 first serve points in his first two matches and has hit 44 winners.

Rubin had his chances in the third set, breaking Federer in the second game and having two set points on the Swiss star's serve when he led 5-2.

"Berdych, yeah, it's not an easy draw", Federer said. "He's beaten me at NY and he's beaten me at Wimbledon too, and the Olympics. I like Tomas' game - that's a tough one".

Federer said he was impressed with Rubin, who only grabbed one service break but was within a few points of taking the match into a fourth set.

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Federer will next face American qualifier Noah Rubin. His peers Ernesto Escobedo and Frances Tiafoe will play second-round matches Thursday.

Wawrinka, 31, won his first Grand Slam title at Melbourne Park in 2014 and has followed that up with two more majors - the French Open in 2015 and the US Open previous year.

Kei Nishikori advanced to the third round in a far more straightforward manner than his five-set opener earlier this week.

The fifth seed, who toiled for over three-and-a-half hours against Andrey Kuznetsov on Monday, won 6-3 6-4 6-3 in just over two hours against 72nd-ranked Chardy.

"The court plays fast, like I said".

He was understandably thrilled to escape with only three sets before the Berdych battle.

But the Swiss master said he would need to play better against big-hitting Berdych, despite winning their last five meetings, including a comfortable quarter-final victory at Melbourne Park previous year.

However, top seed Kerber was tested to the limit by unseeded German Carina Witthoeft.