1/19/13 5:53 PM | Ricky Dimon
Roger Federer takes care of Bernard Tomic in straight sets on Saturday in Melbourne. Next up for Federer is a fourth-round showdown against Milos Raonic.
So much for Bernard Tomic feeling "unstoppable."
At times on Saturday night, Tomic played tennis that just about nobody else would have been able to stop, but Roger Federer had more than enough in his own arsenal to subdue the 20-year-old 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-1 in the third round of the Australian Open. Federer saved the only break point he faced and won 88 percent of his first-serve points to advance in one hour and 58 minutes.
The second-ranked Swiss took control right away, breaking in the first game of the match when his opponent netted a forehand. Tomic never had a break point to get back on serve, but he raised his level throughout the remainder of the opening set. The Australian extended Federer to deuce at 3-2 and 4-3 before fighting off three set points on his own serve at 3-5. Nonetheless, Federer wrapped things up with an easier hold in the 10th game.
That led to an even more competitive second--what was without question the tournament's best set of tennis to date. Tomic fired 21 winners alone throughout the 13 games while Federer recorded a clean 18 winners and six unforced errors. Tomic survived deuce games at 0-0, 4-4, and 5-5--including an especially epic ninth game--and managed to force a tiebreaker.
Federer found himself trailing by mini-breaks at 2-0 and again at both 3-1 and 4-1, but he put a decisive end to the deficit. Melbourne's four-time champion won the last four points of the 'breaker starting at 3-5 as he simply refused to miss from the back of the court even when his opponent could do no wrong on the other side of the net.
Tomic had thrown everything at Federer in the second and he could not keep up the pace during set three. The world No. 43 donated serve at 0-1 after saving three break points and did not recover. Federer raced away for victory, ultimately converting his first match point at 5-1, 40-0 with a service winner.
"I thought it was a good match overall," said the No. 2 seed. "I thought the intensity was good. We had tough rallies. The crowds were great. So I really enjoyed myself out there. Obviously, the result is something I was hoping for, but not sure going into it. So I'm just really pleased that the outcome is what I was hoping for. I'm happy also with my playing. I thought I played really good today."
"I thought it was a really good match," agreed Tomic, who had won his 10 previous matches in 2013. "Only he beat me. He stopped me. He beat me. Full credit to him. I'm going to continue to work hard. It's just a matter of time when I get up to the big group of boys in the Top 10."
Next up for Federer is Milos Raonic, who dismissed Philipp Kohlschreiber in straight sets.
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