Federer played his first singles match of the year in Brisbane today and beat Nieminen comfortably 6-4 6-2. What impressed me the most is how lethal his forehand was. It really looked like the increased racquet size (from 90 to 98) helped his pace on that shot. If that’s the case we have interesting things in store. Federer also looked hungry and ready to play and moved well.
Nadal on the other hand has struggled finding depth and aggression on his shots in his first two matches (in Doha) and was taken the distance by German Tobias Kamke today, but won in the end 6-3 6-7 6-3. Not sure if he’s troubled by his knees or just needs to get warmed-up, but he’s not playing as a confident world nr 1 right now.
Murray was cruising against another German in Florian Mayer with 6-3 3-0 and most people probably switched channel at that point. They shouldn’t have done that. Mayer started playing aggressively and painted lots of lines in a 3-6 6-4 6-2 victory. Murray is back from injury and we should expect it to take some time before he’s playing well again. Today he was just too passive and cautious against a dangerous opponent and paid the price. I don’t predict great results in Australian Open for the Scot.