News24

Federer fresh for the fight

2010-01-23 07:44

Melbourne - World number one Roger Federer declared himself physically fine and mentally fresh after strolling into the fourth round of the Australian Open at the expense of Albert Montanes Saturday.

The 15-time Grand Slam champion brushed aside the 31st-seeded Spaniard, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 and had few concerns in the one hour 48 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Such was Federer's domination that Montanes did not get one break point on the Swiss star's service.

Federer is expected to face a tougher test in the round of 16 on Monday against either Australian two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt or former finalist and unseeded Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, who play later Saturday.

"I've come through a difficult draw, I feel physically fine and mentally fresh, but the opponents will get tougher from here," Federer said.

The top seed was never threatened by baseliner Montanes and broke the Spaniard's service three times.

He broke Montanes in the fourth game of the opening set, in the ninth game of the second set and in the opening game of the final set.

Montanes only won 11 points in the first seven games as Federer rolled through the gears in his most consummate performance of the tournament after dropping a set against Russian Igor Andreev in his opening match.

That was the first time Federer had lost a set in a first round Grand Slam match since the 2003 US Open.

Federer hit a total of 36 winners in the three sets, but he made a total of 43 unforced errors as he attempted to take the game to the Spaniard.

The victory improved Federer's Australian Open record to 50-7, which makes him only second to Swede Stefan Edberg's 56-10 for most match wins here in the Open Era.

Federer leads Hewitt 16-7 and has won their last 14 encounters, while he leads 2006 finalist Baghdatis 6-0.

AFP