Bosnian tennis player Damir Dzumhur is confident that he will recover in time for his Australian Open round three match as he looks forward to clashing against tennis superstar and world No.1 Rafael Nadal. The Bosnian retired his Sydney International round-of-16 clash last week to eventual runner-up Alex de Minaur — didn’t practice for a couple of days as he was strictly nursing a leg injury.
“It was pretty warm and I got exhausted against Millman — but the motivation of playing against Nadal on Rod Laver Arena will be enough for me to recover and show my best tennis,” Dzumhur said. Dzumhur is one of the rare players on the Tour which has a positive record against Nadal.
The 28th-seeded Bosnian had a 2-6 6-4 3-0 lead against Nadal at the Miami Masters in 2016 when the Spaniard was forced to retire the match. “I don’t want to enter the match with a white flag — I want to enjoy and to try to do something,” Dzumhur added.
The second round of the 2018 Australian Open continues on Wednesday (or Thursday for the players in Melbourne). Roger Federer and Simona Halep are the top seeds in action for the men’s and women’s singles brackets.
Play begins at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday evening, which is Thursday morning local time. The Tennis Channel will have television coverage through 9 p.m., at which point ESPN 2 will pick up coverage through 7 a.m. on Thursday morning. Live streaming of all courts can be had via WatchESPN.
Federer will be in action against Jan Lennard Struff as he tries to make it two Australian Open wins in a row. He’s nearing the end of his career, but he’s still playing at an incredibly high level. He’s fresh, and should make short work of Struff on Wednesday.
Halep is still searching for her first Grand Slam title, and she has a tough second-round match against Eugenie Bouchard to deal with on Wednesday. The next-highest-seeded player on the day is Garbine Muguruza, the third seed for the women. She will be playing Su Wei Hsieh on Wednesday.
No. 6 Karolina Pliskova, No. 8 Caroline Garcia and No. 9 Johanna Konta will all be in action against unseeded competition in Beatriz Haddad Maia, Marketa Condrousova and Bernarda Pera, respectively. Other top 10 seeds in action for the men include No. 4 Alexander Zverev, No. 5 Dominic Thiem, No. 7 David Goffin and No. 9 Stan Wawrinka.
Roger Federer thrilled Rod Laver Arena on Thursday with a straight-sets victory over Jan-Lennard Struff as other top names on the men’s side made early Australian Open exits.
Federer comfortably saw off the challenge of Struff in Day 4’s final match, the second seed pushed only in the third set as his German opponent forced a tie-break.
Victory was assured in less than two hours, Federer marching on to a match with Richard Gasquet as another former champion — Stan Wawrinka — bowed out in the second round.
Novak Djokovic had the toughest of the sweltering conditions in Melbourne as he defeated Gael Monfils, while there were also wins for Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin Del Potro and Alexander Zverev.
David Goffin joined Wawrinka in departing, though, as Julien Benneateau’s final year on the ATP Tour got off to a marvelous start.
FABULOUS FEDERER MARCHES ON
Federer already has five Australian Open crowns to his name, and he looks in fine fettle as he goes in search of a sixth — which would see him equal Djokovic’s record in Melbourne.
The 36-year-old belied his age to ease past Struff, saving two of the three break points he faced — all of which came in the final set of his 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) win.
Next up is Gasquet in what will be a must-see for fans of a one-handed backhand, both men fine exponents of the art.
And it is a clash Federer is relishing, saying in his on-court interview: “I love playing against one-handed [backhand] guys because we need to keep it alive for as long as possible.”