Federer gets an easy pass in Australian Open

German Beck forced to withdraw due to back problem

Roger Federer reached the last 32 of the Australian Open without hitting a ball on Wednesday.

Scheduled opponent Andreas Beck was forced to withdraw from their second-round clash, handing Federer a walkover.

The German, who had been to take on the Swiss in the final match of day three on the Hisense Arena, had to withdraw due to a lower back injury.

Federer said: “I didn’t know anything about it. It came as a surprise. He said he had a lot of painkillers and pain in the last match. I guess it’s the smart decision for him to take.

“I would have loved to have played. I feel sad for the fans at Hisense who would have loved to come and see me play.”

Federer will now meet big-serving Ivo Karlovic in the third round. The Croatian, who has lost nine of his 10 meetings with Federer, beat Carlos Berlocq 7-6 (7/4) 3-6 6-3 6-4.