Roger Federer Defeats Filip Krajinovic in Straight Sets at 2019 Miami Open

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 25, 2019

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - MARCH 23: Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a backhand against Radu Albot of Moldova in the  second round of the men's singles in the Miami Open at the Hard Rock stadium on March 23, 2019 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)
TPN/Getty Images

Roger Federer moved into the fourth round of the 2019 Miami Open on Monday after he beat Filip Krajinovic 7-5, 6-3.

Federer got off to a sluggish start in his third-round fixture in Florida and suffered the first break of the match but improved to revive his more dominant form and advance to the next stage with a straight-sets win.

The three-time Miami champion will face either Daniil Medvedev or Reilly Opelka in the fourth round of the tournament.

Federer was clearly still shaking off some rust in his game when he was forced to come back from a set down in his first Miami Open matchup against Radu Albot, but things already looked slicker against Krajinovic.

There was an early wobble from the Swiss star when he surrendered a break in his second service game without so much as a point on the board. Fortunately for the 37-year-old, 10 years Krajinovic's senior, Federer immediately responded in the fourth break-point attempt to tie, per tennis writer Jose Morgado:

José Morgado @josemorgado

Federer definetly hitting the ball better today but maybe he wants to convert a break point, uh?

The Serb was asking tough questions of his favoured opponent, and Federer rose to the challenge with his own ingenuity, per Tennis TV:

Tennis TV @TennisTV

Inventing his own shots 🤷‍♂️ @rogerfederer #MiamiOpen https://t.co/45kIBKmHVX

Despite displaying some early promise against a three-time winner of the competition, Krajinovic was working harder for points on his own serve and failed to lead again in the first set.

Federer's forehand has punished many an opponent unable to make the most of brief leads against him over a 21-year professional career, and he turned pressure into a set advantage after 57 minutes, via the Tennis Channel:

Tennis Channel @TennisChannel

When is the last time you saw a forehand like THAT? 😲 @RogerFederer breaks Krajinovic to win the first set, 7-5. Stream the match→ https://t.co/tPoe44C26q #MiamiOpen https://t.co/v9ugjY2XC8

The competition was nowhere near as close in the second set as Federer stormed out of the blocks and looked intent on sending a statement to the rest of the field in Miami.

Having suffered the first break of the match, he broke Krajinovic in his first service attempt en route to wrestling a 3-0 lead early on, a series of quick hits that effectively ended the Serb's chances.

The 27-year-old won his first game of the set to love at 3-1 down, and sportswriter Tumaini Carayol found cause to praise Krajinovic despite what became a very tilted fixture:

Tumaini Carayol @tumcarayol

You won't hear it because he doesn't have a single hander, but Filip Krajinovic is an elegant player. Really like his variety and pretty much anything he does on his BH side. Although his game is quite lightweight, I think he clearly has top 30 potential.

Federer last won the Miami Open in 2017 and is still in with a chance to reclaim his crown after missing last year's competition.

He's shown improvement between his first two outings in Florida and will look to improve once again in the fourth round, where he'll take on either Medvedev or Reilly Opelka.