By Jaclyn Stacey
(January 21, 2013) MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Roger Federer won through to his 35th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal after dismissing young Canadian Milos Raonic in straight sets 6-4 7-6(4) 6-2 in 1 hour and 53 minutes on Monday night at the Australian Open.
The match was classic flawless Federer in truckloads, Raonic not even able to pierce the maestro with his big serve as Federer managed to get an impressive 60% of returns back into play and made only 12 unforced errors. Federer did not face one single break point on his serve for the duration of the match.
Federer won the first set 6-4 by breaking Raonic in the tenth game.
The Canadian maintained serve throughout the second set and forced a tie-break which Federer won by gaining an advantage with some stunning points and closing it out on set point with a remarkable forehand winner 7-6(4).
In the third set Federer steamrolled to victory, dropping just two games and continuing his mission for a fifth Australian Open title.
“I felt good out there. I was moving well, had good anticipation and reaction today, which was key obviously on the return. Like I said, in the third set I started to feel extremely good on the return.”
“I played well. I think I played tactically well tonight and was able to keep the points short on my own service games, used the 1-2 punch. That was obviously also a good thing tonight.”
Federer could regain the top spot in the rankings if he wins the trophy here this year and Djokovic loses before the semifinals.
“Most of the times you play good, you know. When you play very good, that’s rare. So just have to try to have as many good days or great days as you can, and that’s why I push hard in practice and keep myself in shape.”
“Tonight was a very solid night, so I’m very happy. If I can maintain such a level of play, obviously I’m happy I give myself a chance of going deep in this tournament, which is obviously the goal.”
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s new coaching arrangement with Australian Roger Rasheed is looking to be doing good things for the Frenchman’s game and determination. On Monday Tsonga defeated countryman Richard Gasquet 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-2 for a place in the quarterfinals against Federer.
“Yeah, of course, because he’s with me. He’s giving me an extra motivation. I mean, it’s great because he’s always positive. He want maybe more than me to win. He’s incredible.”
“So, you know, I try to be at his level and have exactly the same motivation because I think he can move some mountains, you know, because he’s very motivated.”
The Australian Open is the scene of Tsonga’s most successful run at a Grand Slam when he was runner-up to Novak Djokovic in 2008.
Jaclyn Stacey is a Melbourne based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open tournament as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her Australian Open updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @JackattackAU.