Roger Federer kicked off his 2018 Australian Open campaign in what has become typical fashion over the last two decades.
The five-time winner in Melbourne has a special connection with the tournament, having progressed to at least the third round in each of his 18 appearances since 2000.
Even more impressively, he has failed to reach the semi-finals just once in the last 18 years, helping him record more wins at this Grand Slam than any other except Wimbledon.
Given Federer seems to have made a habit of bringing his best tennis to the first major of the year, it’s little wonder he’s particularly well liked Down Under.
The 36-year-old – who has made Rod Laver Arena something of a fortress for himself – attracts thousands of spectators who attend with the hope of witnessing a Swiss masterclass.
Federer kicked off his title defence in Australia with a comfortable first-round win against Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia, breezing past the 28-year-old 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.
The nature of the straight-sets victory allowed the 19-time Grand Slam champion to let his hair down, not just in terms of shotmaking but on-court gags, too.
Two sets up and firmly command of proceedings, Federer showed just how relaxed he must be about attempting to replicate the incredible success he achieved in 2017.
Federer’s opponent never had much hope of breaking his rhythm, and to his credit, he didn’t attempt the notorious tactical bathroom break or random injury timeout.
However, play was forced to stop due to a humorous instance early in the third set, if only very briefly.
FEDERER REACTS TO PLAY STOPPING
A crying baby in the stadium prevented Bedene from serving, which while being funny in itself, was made quite hilarious thanks to Federer.
As the Slovenian tried to regain his focus, Federer assured both he and the audience: “It’s not mine.”
He was, of course, referencing his increasingly large family, which now includes two sets of twins, aged eight and three.
It’s vintage Federer without him even using a tennis racket. Check out the funny moment in the video below.
If cracking jokes during a straightforward three-set win is anything to go by, Federer looks to be in great shape ahead of his second round meeting against Jan-Lennard Struff.
While his German opponent will be hoping otherwise, Federer appears to be set in his ways Down Under.