Federer keeps to game plan to sweep aside Bogdanovic

Roger Federer revealed that before he went to bed on Sunday night he tried to visualise the best- and worst-case scenarios in his opening match in defence of the men's singles title against Alex Bogdanovic, a British wild card, ranked 295th in the world, yesterday.

There was the bad scene: "Being down, losing - the other guy on fire and me not being able to do anything about it." And there was the good scene: "Playing well, playing good shots."

While sports psychologists always accentuate the positive, the world No 1 from Switzerland was not prepared to take any chances. "I imagine both [scenarios]," Federer explained, "because if I don't do the bad one, too, I'm suddenly in that scenario. Then I have a problem, because I don't know how to get out of it."

Having thought it all through, Federer concentrated on the positive.

"Because I'm playing so well right now, I don't have any doubt in my game," he said. As expected, he won, 6-3, 6-3, 6-0, after 80 minutes.

Lleyton Hewitt, who may play Federer in the semi-finals, did not have to visualise the dark side. He lived through it on the opening day of the tournament last year, when he became the first No 1 seed and the first defending champion to lose in the first round since the start of the professional era, in 1968.

A giant Croatian qualifier by the name of Ivo Karlovic made Hewitt wonder if he was serving to him from a television gantry above Centre Court. After winning the opening set, 6-1, and losing the second set in a tie-break, Hewitt was overwhelmed.

The 23-year-old Australian admitted that the Karlovic experience had crossed his mind as he walked on Court One yesterday to play his opening match against Jürgen Melzer, of Austria. Shortly before that, however, Hewitt had a minor distraction. He was told that Gary Ayres had been sacked as coach to the Adelaide Crows, Hewitt's beloved Aussie Rules football team.

It was not that Ayres had brought glory to the Crows. What was unusual was that the coach had lost his job mid-season. "I don't know the full bit about it," Hewitt shrugged. "What can I say?"

Hewitt pushed the Crows and Karlovic out of his head and replaced them with a positive outlook throughout: "Only had one point to defend, so I wasn't worried about my ranking taking a dive anyway."

One hour and 44 minutes later, Hewitt advanced to the second round, having defeated Melzer, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. Asked afterwards what had pleased him most, Hewitt smiled and said: "That I got off before the rain."

Federer was also able to dodge the showers, although Bogdanovic admitted that he was "begging for rain" and thinking, "take me out of here, so I get another chance to walk back out there again".

The 20-year-old Bogdanovic lost the opening set after being broken for 3-1, but managed to create two break points in the fifth game of the second set, with Federer leading 3-1. Bogdanovic hit a backhand return long on the first opportunity and missed a forehand volley on the second. After that, Federer could only visualise a successful start to his campaign.

Melzer, a left-hander, like Bogdanovic, was frustrated almost as much by line calls as he was by Hewitt's confident play. At times, the 23-year-old Austrian seemed on the verge of paranoia. He would sometimes stand his ground and look in disbelief when his shots were ruled out, and frequently disputed decisions with the umpire, Steve Ullrich, who assured him there was no conspiracy.

It did not help Melzer's mood that he was unable to convert any of four break points he held against Hewitt in the third game of the opening set - particularly as the Australian went on to win 11 points in a row to lead 5-1.

The second set was close until Hewitt began to torture Melzer with lobs as well as ground-strokes. The Austrian could only watch the ball float over his head and land inside the baseline for 0-40 in the ninth game. Melzer then hit a forehand long on the second break point.

After Hewitt served out the set in the next game, Melzer strode to his chair, threw his racket on the ground, and walked off the court for a bathroom break.

When Hewitt hit a backhand return past Melzer for 1-1, 15-40, the Austrian let out his familiar shout of "Come on!" Melzer double-faulted on the first break point.

He then picked up another ball and tried to belt it out of the court. The ball ended up in the guttering, and Melzer received a warning.

Britain's Davis Cup team are due to face the talented, temperamental Melzer on his home ground in the World Group qualifying round next September, so yesterday's histrionics will have been noted.

"He shows a bit of emotion out there," Hewitt said. "I guess if you get some dodgy bounces, you've got to be able to deal with those situations. He was frustrated. A couple of lets didn't get called, and he thought he had a couple of bad calls. I just felt things were rolling along nicely for me , and I didn't have to change a helluva lot throughout the whole three sets."

Hewitt was watched yesterday by his parents, who were in the guest box, and by his fiancée, Kim Clijsters, who was with friends in the players' area.

Clijsters had an operation to remove a cyst from her left wrist a week ago. Her forearm will be in a cast for six weeks, after which she is expected to have six weeks of rehabilitation. She therefore will miss the US Open, which starts at the end of August.

Her comeback in due to take place in her native Belgium on 27 September at a new WTA tournament, the Stars Hasselt.

In the meantime, Clijsters will support Hewitt and probably wonder how much of an impact she might have made in the women's singles. And perhaps visualise future contests.

Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea