Roger Federer vs Richard Gasquet, Australian Open third round

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were among those in action at the Australian Open on Tuesday, and they made it through the first round with straight-set wins over Aljaz Bedene and Donald Young, respectively. "He's a little bit afraid of me", he said. "I think he was a fascinating character".

He may have been afforded the relative comfort of night-time tennis, but the perma-cool Roger Federer's message differed from some of his cohorts.

"I was thinking back a lot about what happened last year because it was my favourite tournament last year hands down", he said after the win.

Rafael Nadal remains Roger Federer's strongest challenger for his Australian Open title
GETTYRafael Nadal remains Roger Federer's strongest challenger for his Australian Open title

Yet we always end up debating and deliberating whether players should have been allowed to compete in such weather, and whether the Australian Open organisers have the competitors' best interest at heart.

Any player hoping to stop him retaining his title and claiming a 20th grand slam will have to be pretty special on this evidence.

"If you want to get to the top, you've got to play in all conditions", Federer said after players sweated it out searing heat.

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American actor and comedian Will Ferrell isn't just at the Australian Open this week for the tennis. "That was fun", Federer said.

After an exciting 2014 which saw her reach the semi-finals of three Grand Slam events, Bouchard has suffered a downturn in form in recent times and is now ranked at 112.

"There's not the same increases any more so the players must rally and get together again and put in the effort and the tournaments know that and will only react when we do so so we're ready to do it". "I don't know how much heat, it's awful, very, very hot, and it's easy to get blisters". "But during the match, I just forgot about it".

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Federer believes the important thing is that the players come together to discuss such matters.

"On a day like today, what do you do?"

"Hopefully it's a good story for the people who read it or are watching it on TV, that they think tennis is a great sport, it's actually interesting". Australia's Ashleigh Barty, meanwhile, needed two hours and two minutes to beat Italy's Camila Giorgi 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 heading to the third round.

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