Federer opens season with easy win in Brisbane
Brisbane, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Top-seeded Roger Federer opened his 2014 season with an easy win over Jarkko Nieminen in the second round of the Brisbane International.
The Swiss superstar had a rough 2013 campaign with only one tournament title, and he also failed to reach a final at a Grand Slam event for the first time since 2002.
Federer entered the new season with renewed hope and said he is injury-free after playing through some pain last year. He had little trouble with Nieminen in a 6-4, 6-2 triumph on Wednesday, beating the Finnish veteran for the 14th time without a loss.
"I expect myself to play a bit better in the next match, even though today was already very good for a first match in so many weeks, to be honest, and against Nieminen who can play very good tennis. Particularly here in Australia," said Federer.
Next up for the 17-time Grand Slam champion will be Australia's Marinko Matosevic, a 5-7, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 winner over American Sam Querrey on Wednesday.
Other second-round winners Wednesday were second-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan and Croatia's Marin Cilic. Nishikori eased past Australian Matthew Ebden, 6-2, 6-4, and will next face Cilic, a 7-5, 7-5 winner over fifth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria.
The second round continues Thursday with third-seeded Gilles Simon of France taking on Romania's Marius Copil, fourth-seeded South African Kevin Anderson squaring off against Aussie wild card Samuel Groth, sixth-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez meeting Australian crowd favorite Lleyton Hewitt and eighth- seeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy facing countrymate Nicolas Mahut.