Federer, Djokovic march on

MELBOURNE. — Four-time champion Roger Federer was in no mood to extend his Sunday too far into today as he raced into the Australian Open tennis quarter-finals with a 6-2, 6-1 6-4 victory over David Goffin yesterday.

Federer was the last match on the main show-court in Rod Laver Arena yesterday but because of an earlier lengthy five-set clash between Novak Djokovic and Gilles Simon, he did not begin his fourth round match with Goffin until 10:48pm (Australian time) (1:48pm).

The 17-times grand slam champion established the tone for the match in the first set, which he roared through in 21 minutes as he conceded just two points on his own serve and broke the Belgian twice.

The Swiss continued to dominate on his own serve, winning more than 90 percent of his first service points for much of the match and hitting winners at will to seal a quarter-final against Czech sixth-seed Tomas Berdych in 88 minutes.

Champion Novak Djokovic put down the threat of a French revolution at Melbourne Park by fending off Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-7(1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals. In the women’s section, Serena Williams served up a glamour Australian Open quarter-final against arch-rival Maria Sharapova yesterday as she looks to extend her iron grip over the Russian star.

The world No. 1 and defending champion smacked down Margarita Gasparyan 6-2, 6-1 in just 55 minutes on Rod Laver Arena to ensure the mouth-watering showdown.

Sharapova holds the dismal record of never beating her nemesis in 17 contests dating back 12 years. The last time she managed a win was at the WTA Tour Championships in 2004.

She now has another chance to finally get the monkey off her back after coming through a 7-5, 7-5 thriller against fast-rising Swiss teen Belinda Bencic.

Meanwhile, Having hurtled into the match without dropping a set, Djokovic found a brick wall in the form of the 14th seed Simon whose dogged scrambling frustrated the Serb for much of the four-hour 32-minute clash at Rod Laver Arena. — Reuters-AFP.

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