Melbourne - Swiss marvel Roger Federer blitzed long-time rival Tomas Berdych in
straight sets to storm into the fourth round with a vintage performance
at the Australian Open on Friday.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion,
seeded 17th after an injury-hit 2016, downed the 10th-seeded Czech 6-2,
6-4, 6-4, in just 90 minutes.
Federer reached the round of 16 in Melbourne for the 15th time where he will face Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori.
the baseline, honestly I felt worlds better than in the first couple of
rounds. Yeah, it's wonderful. I'm really happy, yeah, of course,"
"I'm sure I've done some sort of a performance like
this (before). When you don't get broken, you don't have to save any
break points, you're always in the lead, it's always easier to play."
concerns that Federer might be in for a tough night evaporated with a
double service break to lead Berdych 5-2 in the opening set.
The Swiss maestro continued to put on a tennis masterclass to leave the big Czech floundering.
breezed through the opening set in 26 minutes, made it 2-0 another 31
minutes later and cruised through the final set in 33 minutes to
complete an astonishing demolition of one of his long-time rivals.
broke Berdych's big serve four times and did not face one break point
on his own service, while hitting 40 winners against just 17 unforced
'I DID SURPRISE MYSELF'
"I didn't expect it as such, to be honest, especially not this kind of a scoreline," Federer said.
"Especially having to save no breakpoints, just always rolling on the serve. That was a big surprise to me.
"I think it was a great mental test for me to see if I could stay in the match point for point, keep rolling.
"I was able to do that. That's where I'm just really happy that I was able to deliver that.
"I had no expectations really for tonight, but I did surprise myself."
facing Nishikori in his next match, the 35-year-old Swiss legend said:
"I'm a big fan of his game. He's got one of the best backhands out
there. I love how he can crush it down the line or crosscourt.
"He's got wonderful second serve returns. He's fast on his legs. Strong in his mind.
"I know how tough he is as the match goes along. He finds his range and his rhythm, he's tough to stop."
It was the 23rd career meeting between the pair and their seventh meeting at a Grand Slam, and fourth at the Australian Open.
extended his record to 17-6 over Berdych and has won their last six
meetings. The last time the Czech defeated Federer was in the
semi-finals at Dubai in 2013.
The Swiss legend is looking to
become the third man to win five Australian Open singles titles after
Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson, who have both won six.
Collated results from the Australian Open on Friday (x denotes seeding):
Andy Murray (GBR x1) bt Sam Querrey (USA x31) 6-4, 6-2, 6-4
Mischa Zverev (GER) bt Malek Jaziri (TUN) 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0
Stan Wawrinka (SUI x4) bt Viktor Troicki (SRB x29) 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (9/7)
Andreas Seppi (ITA) bt Steve Darcis (BEL) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/1), 7-6 (7/2)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x12) bt Jack Sock (USA x23) 7-6 (7/4), 7-5, 6-7 (8/10), 6-3
Dan Evans (GBR) bt Bernard Tomic (AUS x27) 7-5, 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/3)
Roger Federer (SUI x17) bt Tomas Berdych (CZE x10) 6-2, 6-4, 6-4
Kei Nishikori (JPN x5) bt Lukas Lacko (SVK) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
Angelique Kerber (GER x1) bt Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 6-0, 6-4
Coco Vandeweghe (USA) bt Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) 6-4, 3-6, 7-5
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x24) bt Elina Svitolina (UKR x11) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x8) bt Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 6-4, 5-7, 9-7
Sorana Cirstea (ROM) bt Alison Riske (USA) 6-2, 7-6 (7/2)
Venus Williams (USA x13) bt Duan Yingying (CHN) 6-1, 6-0
Garbine Muguruza (ESP x7) bt Anastasija Sevastova (LAT x32) 6-4, 6-2
Mona Barthel (GER) bt Ashleigh Barty (AUS) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3