Federer overcomes illness with a win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Federer overcomes illness with a win

By Guy Hand 16/01/2008 12:05:32 AM Comments (0)

It appears the only thing Roger Federer is sick of now is talking about his illness after a blistering Australian Open first round win dispelled any doubts over the world No.1's health.

Top seed Federer gave a 74-minute tennis lesson to Argentine Diego Hartfield on Rod Laver Arena, winning 6-0 6-3 6-0 to cruise into the second round.

It was exactly the same scoreline as Australian Lleyton Hewitt's demolition of Belgian Steve Darcis earlier on Tuesday.

Predictably, Federer took three minutes less that Hewitt in a classic case of 'anything you can do, I can do better'.

Federer had been under a cloud going into the tournament because of a stomach virus which ruled him out of last week's Kooyong Classic and led to him visiting a Melbourne hospital for tests.

But the only person needing medical attention was Hartfield as Federer served 11 aces and launched 38 winners to spin the Argentine around centre court like a shaggy-haired top.

Being a break point down in Federer's opening service game was as close as Hartfield got - Federer pleased with how he didn't ease off the pedal at any stage.

"I'm happy with my form - I wish it was like this every night," he said.

"The important thing is I didn't have any lapses mentally, give away easy points.

"I think I really played pretty tough, but I was happy the way things went and I served especially well."

There was also a sick feeling for those further along the Open draw who had felt Federer might at last be vulnerable as the Swiss displayed the ominous signs he has so often before on his way to grand slam victory.

Federer confirmed the illness, which doctors believed was food poisoning, was long gone and that he was practising fully and fluently.

"I'm fine now. I've moved on mentally. I'm past being sick and looking forward to being healthy," he said.

Federer now plays experienced Frenchman Fabrice Santoro in the second round.

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