Roger Federer feels he is on the right track for a tilt at the Australian Open title.
World number two Roger Federer believes Wednesday's match against Simone Bolelli will stand him in good stead deeper into the tournament after he was forced to rally from a set down.
The Swiss was far from comfortable as he overcame a finger injury to beat the Italian 3-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 in their second-round clash on Rod Laver Arena.
It was the second straight match Federer appeared to struggle to for rhythm and consistency, having tallied up 37 unforced errors against Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun on Monday.
But the 17-time grand slam winner feels a challenging start to the tournament will help his cause for a fifth title.
"Happy I'm still in the tournament, because for a while it wasn't looking very good because Bolelli was playing very well," Federer said.
"But it's always a good feeling fighting your way out of a match, like now, and winning the last three sets convincingly and actually playing really positive tennis.
"I served very well. So, you know, important is that you play the right way early because it's not always that easy.
"I had to do some adjustments because he was doing things very well. By figuring things out, it's a great feeling to have once you've got it.
"Then you're able to play consistently well, because actually he didn't have many opportunities on my serve.
"You always expect yourself to create opportunities, which I was finally able to do. Conditions were playing fast, and it's not so easy if you serve well to break."
Federer was forced to take a medical timeout at the end of the first set on Wednesday, after suffering pain in his finger.
The Swiss maestro was still mystified about what caused the problem during his post-match media conference.
"I don't know if it's a blister. I don't know what that thing is. It's the weirdest thing," said Federer.
"I don't know. I feel it on the tip of my finger. Just felt really odd starting after the break, and for three, four games, it was the funniest feeling I have. I feel like it's numb and swollen."