The temperatures may be soaring in Melbourne but Roger Federer looked coolness personified as he eased past Jan-Lennard Struff in the second round of the Australian Open on Thursday.
On a day that saw the mercury rise to 40 degrees Celsius, Federer had the luxury of playing in the cooler evening session, and he used that to his advantage with a 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-4) win over Struff on Rod Laver Arena.
Defending champion Federer was immediately in his groove, producing stylish forehands and devastating backhand winners that were just too good for Struff.
Having applied early pressure on his German opponent, Federer moved ahead thanks to a crisp forehand passing shot in the fifth game, the second seed consolidating the break with a service game to love.
Making any inroads on the Federer serve proved impossible for Struff in the opening two sets, winning just eight in the first and three in the second as Federer moved through the gears.The world number 55 had a few moments of quality across the match – a sensational drop-shot at the end of a thrilling rally in the second set a particular highlight – but they were few and far between, his mistakes allowing Federer in.
A Struff error opened the door for a two-set lead and Federer coolly walked through it with a trademark backhand. Struff finally had some glory in the third as he went for his shots and forced mistakes from Federer, but it only served to fire up the Swiss who sealed his progression – with the aid of a tie-break – to a third-round clash with Richard Gasquet after one hour and 55 minutes on court.
Federer  bt Struff 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-4)
Federer – 36/22
Struff – 35/30
Federer – 17/1
Struff – 7/5
BREAK POINTS WON
Federer – 3/11
Struff – 1/3
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Federer – 58
Struff – 50
PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Federer – 83/67
Struff – 76/51
Federer – 109
Struff – 90