Federer and Nadal into quarters
Tennis:Swiss master Roger Federer handed Australian apprentice Bernard Tomic a tennis lesson tonight as he raced into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. Tomic is widely touted as the next big thing in the game but the record 16-time grand slam winner showed the 19-year-old he still has much to learn after brushing him aside 6-4 6-2 6-2.
It was a sobering evening for Tomic as his unconventional approach was picked apart by Federer, who was superior in every department. Despite that, the first set was relatively close with both players feeling each other out before the third seed struck to break for a 5-4 lead which he backed up to claim the opener.
An early break in the second cemented Federer’s position of strength and he began to toy with the young Queenslander, moving him round the court before delivering a number of stunning drop shots.
After a 28-shot rally which Federer won in game six, Tomic looked completely baffled, turning to his back-up team and shrugging his shoulders as if to say ‘what can I do?’
Yet he kept on fighting. He broke back only to relinquish his own serve as Federer battled hard to maintain the momentum.
If there was to be an unlikely comeback, Tomic had to get out of the blocks quickly in the third set but instead he was placed even further on the back foot as Federer broke for 1-0 and then again for 4-1.
From there there was no way back as Federer moved through to a meeting with Juan Martin Del Potro, a 6-4 6-2 6-1 victor over Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Second seed Rafael Nadal also won today, beating Spanish compatriot Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-4 6-2 to maintain his record of having not dropped a set in reaching the last eight. Nadal has hit the ground running in Australia but accepts an improvement is required over the next week if he is to land his 11th grand slam title.
He said: “I think I started the tournament playing really well this time. Sometimes in tournaments I feel that I am improving day by day but this time I felt that I played well on the first day, the second and two days ago.
“And today I played another complete match.”
But with Tomas Berdych to come in the last eight and Federer his scheduled opponent in the semi-finals, he knows he must get even better.
“Now I am in the quarter-finals and this is the moment to keep playing well and to try to do a little bit more,” he added. “In general I am doing the right things but, if it’s possible, [I need] to try to improve a little bit.”
Berdych advanced courtesy of a stormy 4-6 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (7/3) 7-6 (7/2) win against Nicolas Almagro. A tight match turned sour at 5-5 in the fourth set with Berdych serving at 0-30.
Having come to the net and played a poor drop shot, leaving the ball in mid-court, the Czech found himself in the firing line as Almagro drilled the ball straight at him, hitting him on the upper arm.
Even though it was a legitimate tactic with Almagro also apologizing immediately, Berdych was clearly livid at the end, refusing to shake the Spaniard’s hand, instead walking straight to the umpire’s chair.
And while Almagro was cheered off Hisense Arena, Berdych was booed during his post-match interview.
“When you have a point and somebody wants to hit you straight to your face, I don’t see this as a nice moment especially as you have the whole court open,” said Berdych. “But I am happy to go through to my next match.”