Roger Federer vs. Denis Istomin
|Date & Time||Sunday January 13, 2019, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Roger Federer and Denis Istomin meet in the first round of the 2019 tennis Australian Open.
Roger Federer enters this tournament as one of the favorites and is in pretty good form considering he just won all four matches in the Hopman Cup. Federer didn’t drop a single set in those four matches and is fresh off a performance in which he won 30 of his 33 first serve points. Federer has now won 22 of his last 27 matches when you include exhibition play and has won 12 of his last 14 sets. People are waiting for the 37-year-old to start to decline, but we’re simply not seeing it. Federer hasn’t lost in the first round of a grand slam since the 2003 French Open. Federer has won six of his last eight matches on hard court.
Denis Istomin enters this tournament on a four-match losing streak and is coming off a showing in Pune where he was broken three times and lost to a player outside of the top-100. Istomin has had some success in challenger play, which includes titles in Chicago and Kazakhstan, but he’s done little to nothing as of late on the main stage and has never been a competitive grand slam player. This is a brutal first round matchup for Istomin to say the least. Istomin has two career wins over top-10 players, but only one of those victories have come since 2013. Istomin has lost in the first round of a grand slam in five of his last six appearances. Istomin has won six of his last eight matches on hard court.
These two have played six times and Federer has won all six meetings. The most recent match was in 2014 in Basel, a match Federer won in three sets. Four of the six matches (one being a walkover) were decided in straight sets.
Istomin truly has no chance in this match when you look at his current form and his grand slam history. Istomin is not a big match player and doesn’t have anything in his game that’s going to scare Federer. Oh, Federer is also playing great tennis as usual and has enough recent reps under his belt to where he won’t be sluggish with the start of the new season.
Federer wins this match in straight sets. Anything other than a quick three setter would be a big surprise.