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19 January 2018, 01:58 | Rose Hansen
"I am not sure it will go as well (as 2017) because I'm a year older, Rafa's looking in tip-top shape and others guys are coming back".
This morning, for those of us in a European time zone, the 19 time grand slam champion started his campaign to defend his title against former Brit Aljaž Bedene with a straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, victory.
"Does it get annoying when they scream, 'Come on, Roger!' over and over again?"
Earlier in the week the U.S. star provided a memorable post-match interview, questioning Swiss maestro Roger Federer in his famous Anchorman persona of newsreader Ron Burgundy.
Comedian Will Ferrell made a surprise appearance at the Australian Open last night, crashing the Channel 7 broadcast and making me temporarily care about tennis. And Federer's quick wit was more than a match for Ferrell's improv work.
However, Federer, who has won this competition five times, remained composed to recover and force a tiebreak, which he took 7-4.
The 36-year-old broke Struff at 2-2 in the first, with the second set following in similar fashion.
"Being back in Melbourne is fantastic and hopefully I can keep that going a bit longer".
Chuckling, Federer responded, "Maybe, maybe not. It is delicious. The national food of Australia".
Ferrell asked Federer such posers as whether he felt like a silky gazelle on court, whether he was a witch or a vampire, and whether his secret was eating wombat meat.
The reigning champion next faces German Jan-Lennard Struff in his quest to win his 20th major, and his sixth at Melbourne Park.
The Swiss star, who defeated Rafael Nadal to win the 2014 Australian Open, has slipped to nine in the world rankings, having not played since his first round Wimbledon loss to Russian Daniil Medvedev six months ago. They have played once before in the first round of Halle in 2016 in the slick grass which helped Federer to win the match.
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