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Last Updated: Monday, 15 January 2007, 01:38 GMT
Federer v Phau gamewatch
Australian Open, Melbourne Park

First round result:

R FEDERER (Swi) bt B Phau (Ger)

7-5 6-0 6-4

* denotes server


By Piers Newbery

Third set:

Federer 6-4 Phau
Well, he gets there in the end but Federer needs three match points to finally see off Phau. It's not Federer at his best by any means but he's still through, and he only lost nine games.

Federer 5-4 Phau
Federer is not in the best of moods but is looking very solid on serve, holding to 15, and he now needs just one game to reach round two.

Federer 4-4 Phau
A beautiful rally from Federer ends with the Swiss attacking the net and punching away a backhand volley to earn break point. Still, Phau will not go away and he saves it with a big serve. Federer then makes an error and takes an angry swat at the ball, which draws an "ooooh" from crowd. Phau holds and the match remains alive.

Federer 4-3 Phau
Federer holds to love. No problem.

Federer 3-3 Phau
The belief is back for Phau, who holds serve confidently to level the set. Federer looks like he could really do without all this.

Federer 3-2 Phau
Well, what do you know? Or rather, what do I know? Federer has a game point, misses it, starts grumbling and gives up the break when Phau lands a forehand lob smack on the baseline. At one point in the game Federer calls himself an idiot, which seems a bit harsh.

Federer 3-1 Phau
Federer winds up the forehand and Phau has no answer - it's the first break of the fourth set and surely all the world number one will need to secure victory.

Federer 2-1 Phau
An error brings a wail of discontent from Federer - hardly a Safinesque racquet smashing but as close as you're likely to get from Rog. He still wins the game.

Federer 1-1 Phau
Phau stops the rot, after a bit of a struggle, and gets a sympathetic round of applause from the crowd, who are gently frying.

Federer 1-0 Phau
Federer races through another service game and Phau is understandably starting to look a little dejected. No-one likes losing 11 games on the bounce.

Second set:

Federer 6-0 Phau
It's taken a while but Federer is in the groove now and breaks serve again, to love, for the latest love-set in his career. This one should be over pretty soon.

Federer 5-0 Phau
I think we can safely say this set is over, although Phau does smack one big forehand winner that draws a few gasps from the crowd.

Federer 4-0 Phau
Federer takes his sixth straight game, breaking Phau to 15, and it's hard to see what the German can do to stay in touch. Federer never looks like he's putting that much into his strokes but he is hitting the ball very hard at the moment.

Federer 3-0 Phau
Wallop. Federer powers through another service game and looks his usual relaxed self again, having shown the odd sign of tetchiness in the middle of the opening set.

Federer 2-0 Phau
Federer is hitting a bit more freely now and two double faults do not help Phau, who drops serve. It's a long way back fro the German.

Federer 1-0 Phau
Federer has some strapping on his foot removed at the changeover. It's really bright on Rod Laver Arena now and the world number one will want to wrap this up as swiftly as possible. He takes the first game of the set comfortably.

First set:

Federer 7-5 Phau
Federer takes the set in some style, breaking to love. The game finishes with an outstanding rally in which Phau, now wearing cap as the sun gets brighter, races from side to side to stay in the rally before Federer's forehands eventually get the better of him.

Federer 6-5 Phau
Federer races through a love game and heaps the pressure back on Phau.

Federer 5-5 Phau
Phau's chance looks to have gone when, from 30-15, Federer forces two errors to earn a break point. Phau hangs on with a magnificent smash made on the move and saves another break point with a winning backhand. You don't give Federer three chances though and a forced error from Phau levels the scores.

Federer 4-5 Phau
A much more authoritative game from Federer, who holds to love, but the Swiss will want to break now. It's getting pretty hot out there and he will not want to play four sets if he can help it.

Federer 3-5 Phau
Phau is now happy to trade groundstrokes with Federer and is having the better of it at the moment. The crowd are sensing a major shock - and that would just be Federer dropping a set.

Federer 3-4 Phau
Phau has sensed a chance and taken it, thumping his return and breaking Federer's serve yet again. There are surely plenty more breaks to come but the German is doing a great job at the moment.

Federer 3-3 Phau
Federer eases to 15-40 and another couple of break points but Phau does really well to make his first serves and battle back. The Federer return is misfiring at the moment and the set is very much alive. Phau is a clean-cut, well turned out sort. The kind of chap you meet on a camping holiday who pretends he can't play and then thrashes you in front of your girlfriend. Probably.

Federer 3-2 Phau
A magic moment - Federer snatches embarrassingly at a volley and somehow stuffs it into the net, before taking a couple of unsuccessful swipes at the offending object. Very gratifying for those of us who regularly struggle with the whole 'over the net, inside the lines' side of tennis. Meanwhile, Phau breaks back, thanks largely to some sloppy play from Federer. He's really asking for it now.

Federer 3-1 Phau
The Federer forehand has lost none of its potency over the Christmas break. He gets to 15-30 up with a blistering off-forehand winner but Phau does well to hang in there and get to deuce. Federer sends a backhand long on his first break point, and again on the second, but Phau succumbs with a backhand error of his own on the third.

Federer 2-1 Phau
Federer quickly goes in front for the first time, winning his service game to 15, and already he looks to have too much power off both wings for the world number 82. I think Bjorn needs a bit more 'pow'.

Federer 1-1 Phau
If there was ever a time that breaking your opponent's serve was a bad move, this might have been it. Phau is made to run about 25km in one game as Federer goes about breaking back and the German faces about an hour and a half of shuttle runs in the baking Aussie sun.

Federer 0-1 Phau
Federer strolled onto court looking as relaxed as ever and wearing the type of retro pastel blue T-shirt that is probably quite popular at the local beach. And he starts as though he's got sand in his shoes, whacking a smash into the net and going on to drop serve. Phau marches to his chair as if he, at least, expected nothing less.

  • So here he is - the big man. Statistically, there is more chance of an asteroid hitting Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik than Bjorn Phau beating Roger Federer, but who knows? Federer lost to Andy Roddick last week so he is human, something that cannot be said with total confidence about Lembit Opik.

    Men's Australian Open draw
    13 Jan 07 |  Tennis
    Women's Australian Open draw
    13 Jan 07 |  Tennis


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