Monday, January 25, 2016

Roger Federer flies into quarter-finals at Australian Open

Four-time former champion and third seed Roger Federer will play sixth seed Tomas Berdych in the Australian Open quarter-finals. Federer has a 15-6 FedEx ATP Head2Head series lead against the Czech, who earlier on Sunday defeated No. 24 seed Roberto Bautista Agut.

"I have to play well," said Federer. "I think the court suits him. I think this sort of flatter bounce and faster court is good for his serves, good for his returns. It's a fast court [and] I think for his kind of game it's good."

Federer recorded his 79th match win at Melbourne Park, venue of the Grand Slam championship, with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 victory over No. 15 seed David Goffin, in a match that finished at 12:17 a.m. local time on Monday. He is now through to his 12th Australian Open quarter-final (47th overall).

"It was good [and I was] surprised it went as fast as it did," said Federer. "To win the first two sets within 50 minutes is the best thing that can happen out there, especially with a late start and against a quality player. So I was very happy. It was important to keep the momentum going, keep staying aggressive and trying to get the match done in three. I was able to do that. I was very pleased."

The Swiss required just 21 minutes to clinch the opening set, hitting three aces and losing just three of his service points. He broke in the fourth and eighth games of the opener. Goffin, who had posters of Federer on his bedroom wall growing up, attempted to re-group but he was unable to do so. Federer capitalised on the fast court conditions to maintain his dominance in the second set and two breaks of serve - in the first and fifth games - of the third set extinguished Goffin's hopes.

"It's always tough to play on a court that you've never played [on], like Rod Laver Arena," said Goffin. "It was tough to feel my timing from the baseline. He was playing really good from the beginning. When you start to feel better after two sets, one break down, it's tough to come back."

Federer hit 39 winners, including seven aces for victory in 88 minutes.

At 34 years, 176 days, Federer is the oldest man to reach the Australian Open last eight since Andre Agassi (34 years, 276 days) did so in 2005. Federer recorded his 300th Grand Slam match win on Friday against No. 27 seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Federer improves to 1,066 match wins, five victories shy of equalling Ivan Lendl (1,071) at No. 2 in the Open Era match wins list. Jimmy Connors leads overall with 1,254 match wins.

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