Roger Federer battles into Australian Open third round

Roger Federer

Defending champion Roger Federer reached the Australian Open third round for a 20th straight year on Wednesday but was made to battle all the way by Britain’s Dan Evans before winning 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.

The ageless 20-time Grand Slam champion, who is going for a record seventh Melbourne Park title and third in a row, had breezed past Denis Istomin in the first round but was given a much tougher examination by the world number 189.

The 37-year-old Swiss master will play either France’s Gael Monfils, seeded 30, or American Taylor Fritz in the last 32.

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