Roger Federer: Nikolay Davydenko Won't Test Fed at Australian Open

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJanuary 16, 2013

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 27:  Nikolay Davydenko of Russia and Roger Federer of Switzerland embrace after their quarterfinal match during day ten of the 2010 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 27, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Roger Federer coasted to an easy victory in his first-round match against Frenchman Benoit Paire, 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 on Tuesday. Fed's second-round foe, Nikolay Davydenko won't fare any better.

Early exits just don't happen to Federer often, and it has never happened to him at the Australian Open. Since he first competed in the sport's first Grand Slam of the year, he has never exited before the round of 32.

He's won the tournament four times, most recently in 2010 when he knocked off Andy Murray.

With that track record, the superb 2012 season that saw him go 71-12 with six singles titles, and his demolition of Paire in the first round; there is no reason to think Fed is primed for an upset.

He is 17-2 against Davydenko in his career. He did drop back-to-back meetings against the Russian in 2009 and 2010, but I'd be shocked to see Davydenko defeat Fed again.

He struggled to defeat Dudi Sela in the first round 3-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-3, and he's coming off an injury-plagued 2012 (Match Stats).

Davydenko is a battler, but Federer is playing at an elite level. When he plays this way, few men can win a set against him. Davydenko will not be one of those few in this case.

If fans are looking for a match that will truly test Federer, they will have to wait until Round 4, or possibly even the quarterfinals. Federer should breeze through the winner of the Bernard Tomic/Daniel Brands match in the third round.

However, he could run into some serious competition in Round 4 as he figures to face either 13th-seeded Milos Raonic or 17th-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber. 

With his nemesis Rafael Nadal out of action, Federer's path is a little less daunting.

The truth is, if Federer is right, the only men in this tournament that have a shot at beating him are Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. 

We'll have to wait before we can see an epic matchup with those two elite players. For now, be prepared to see another Federer early-round exhibition.


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