Melbourne - Swiss great Roger Federer was delighted to become the first man to
reach 300 Grand Slam match wins on Friday as he swept past Grigor
Dimitrov to reach the Australian Open fourth round.
it was "very exciting" to reach 300 wins, a total that leaves him just
six away from Martina Navtratilova's record of 306 and moves him closer
to a fifth Australian Open title.
The 17-time major winner and
third seed won 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in two hours, 40 minutes under the
closed roof on Rod Laver Arena and will face Belgium's 15th seed David
Goffin in the next round.
"It's very exciting, I must tell you,"
Federer said of his 300th Grand Slam win, a sequence that also started
at the Australian Open when he beat Michael Chang in the first round in
"Like when I reached 1 000 (career wins) last year, it was a
big deal for me. Not something I ever aimed for or looked for, but when
it happens, it's very special. You look deeper into it, I guess, where
it's all happened and how. So it's very nice, I'm very happy."
the landmark win, Federer also extends his record over Bulgarian 27th
seed Dimitrov, dubbed "Baby Fed" because of the similarity in their
playing styles, to 5-0.
Last year Federer was ambushed in the third round by Italian Andreas Seppi, but he made no mistake this time at the same stage.
it wasn't an entirely convincing display from the four-time Australian
Open winner who committed an uncharacteristic 55 unforced efforts, much
more than Dimitrov's 44.
"It was a difficult position for me after
losing the second set and Grigor was playing well. I thought I was
struggling a little bit," Federer said.
"I didn't feel it was really happening out there and it was an important start for me to the third set.
I got the early break and I was able to stay in the lead and everything
started to come back, the serve, my footwork. It was complicated, but
those matches are even nicer to win, I must say."
lost his serve once in 18 service games and broke the Bulgarian's serve
four times, twice in the third set, with Dimitrov troubled by a sore
right elbow and losing serving power.
He sought courtside treatment from the trainer several times during the match.
was bidding to reach the round of 16 at the Open for the third straight
year including making the quarter-finals in 2014, where he lost to