first_imgJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Switzerland’s Roger Federer waves as he leaves Rod Laver Arena after defeating Britain’s Daniel Evans in their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)Defending champion Roger Federer reached the Australian Open third round for a 20th straight year Wednesday but was made to battle hard 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 gunning 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.ADVERTISEMENT “I think if I could have pulled away early in the match it might have been different,” said the 37-year-old Swiss master who needed 2hr 35min to get past his 28-year-old opponent.Evans, whose ranking plummeted from a career-high 41 after he was slapped with a year-long ban for testing positive to cocaine in April 2017, played almost flawless tennis to stave off a set point on his way to forcing a first set tie-break.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissHe even had the temerity to lead 5-3 in the breaker before Federer stepped up a gear and reeled off the next four points with a cry of “Come on!” as he secured a hard-fought opening set after exactly one hour.It was harsh on Evans who had committed only two unforced errors and constantly put the third seed under pressure with his scampering, attacking game and flurry of winners off both wings. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trae Young wins point guard battle as Hawks topple Thunder The plucky Evans, who had covered acres of ground and found the lines brilliantly, needed treatment for blisters on both feet before the second set started and immediately was broken.But he refused to lie down and broke back as Federer served for the set to force another tie-break.“I thought I might have pulled away midway through the second set,” added Federer. “But I couldn’t, to his credit. He played well.”The Swiss star hasn’t often needed luck during his unparallelled career but he took advantage of some in the third set to finally ease the pressure.Holding break point at 2-1, he barely scooped up a half-volley which grabbed the net cord and toppled over forcing Evans to go long.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title MOST READ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil A service game to love followed to put Federer 4-1 up and the brave resistance of Evans was finally broken.The veteran will next play either France’s Gael Monfils, seeded 30, or American Taylor Fritz in the last 32.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more