• Federer faces Raonic in Australian Open fourth round

    1/20/13 7:26 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Federer faces Raonic in Australian Open fourth round Roger Federer is back in Melbourne action Monday. Standing in his way of the quarterfinals is familiar foe Milos Raonic.

    Roger Federer and Milos Raonic will be going head-to-head for the fourth time in their careers when they collide in round four of the Australian Open on Monday.

    Federer won all three of their meetings last season, but every one of the trio went the distance (including two that ended in third-set tiebreakers). The second-ranked Swiss prevailed 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4 on the hard courts of Indian Wells, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(4) on the blue clay of Madrid, and 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(3) on the grass courts of Halle.

    Clearly this one has the makings of another must-see thriller, and the current form of both men does nothing to dispel such a notion. Federer has not dropped a set through three rounds in Melbourne and he has come close to losing only one--the second against Bernard Tomic on Saturday. Prior to his win over the Aussie, Federer hammered Benoit Paire and Nikolay Davydenko.

    Raonic has also won nine sets in a row following an early-season hiccup that included a loss to Grigor Dimitrov in Brisbane and a first-set donation to Jan Hajek on Tuesday. After storming past Hajek, the 15th-ranked Canadian made quick work of both Lukas Rosol and Philipp Kohlschreiber.

    "I've had some tough matches with him in the past," Federer assured. "All of them went the distance. Some of them I should have lost, maybe one or two. He's obviously got one of the best serves in the game. You always feel, especially after an offseason, he's maybe improved a few things or he's worked on a few things. So you would expect maybe some more unexpected stuff that he didn't do last time around."

    "I think against Roger, one thing that has sort of worked well for me, I try as much as I can not to play on Roger's terms, to play on my own terms," Raonic explained. "I have to go out there and do my job. Take care of my serve is number one. Really dictate or try to dictate as much as I can and go for it. Not give him too much rhythm."

    If the underdog serves extremely well, an upset is a remote possibility. Nonetheless, Federer's experience in dealing with the Raonic serve can only help him, and he obviously is far more accustomed to the latter stages of Grand Slams.

    Look for the four-time Australian Open champion to advance in three competitive sets.

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Federer in 4 sets 7-6 3-6 6-3 6-4. Btw is it only me or has this site been quite slow for the past few days?

tennis2011 , 1/20/13 5:48 PM

good luck Roger.

tennisnba , 1/21/13 4:46 AM

other tough one. Roger may drop a set. or it loses.

tennisnba , 1/21/13 4:54 AM

Fed wins the first set 6-4.

RMadhu , 1/21/13 11:28 AM

So many UEs from Raonic. He's relying almost solely on his serves, only luck in tiebreaks will help him win this match. Fed is not going to lose to Raonic playing like this. Raonic seems to have regressed in his game, he hardly comes to the net or S&V(something he's capable of doing), staying at or behind the baseline is not going to help him beat Fed.

luckystar , 1/21/13 11:57 AM

Such a boring match.
Comms just discussing if Raonic can challenge the "very best." Hmm, think jury's out on that one.

deuce , 1/21/13 12:25 PM

Yes deuce. In a way I'm happy that Fed is going to beat Raonic. I'm certainly not ready for any of the young guns to challenge the top four in a slam; if its the no.5-10 guys beating the top four then that's a different story.

luckystar , 1/21/13 12:29 PM

The young guns certainly don't look equipped enough to challenge the top 4. Not one name comes to mind if you think of the guys in terms of their games.

samprallica , 1/21/13 12:34 PM

^^^ Agree. None of them is ready or has the game to challenge the top four. I certainly don't want to see any of the top four losing to a young gun in a slam, at least not yet.

luckystar , 1/21/13 12:45 PM

Yes, so Fed wins the match and the top four seeds all make it to the QF, well done! Only Tipsy and Delpo didn't make it to the QF, among the top eight seeds. I just don't know what happened to Delpo, only 12 winners in his match against Chardy, with that big forehand of his? A bit unbelievable!

luckystar , 1/21/13 12:53 PM

Congrats to Fed on a good win tonight. Playing pretty well considering he had no match time coming into the Open. To those who thought Raonic would give Fed a run for his money given past results, they need to look at the finer details of those matches especially the last two. Madrid last year was played on a ridiculously fast and slippery surface which benefited Raonic, given it increased his serve potency while at the same time inhibited Federer's lateral movement. And Halle, everyone knows that on a fast grass court big servers are going to be difficult to overcome. Playing on the plexicushion surface of Melbourne Park in heavy conditions these problems wouldn't eventuate, therefore Raonic's serve wouldn't be as potent, allowing Fed to not only get more balls back into play but also to dominate baseline play in general. Having said that, Fed has a ridiculous ability against the big guys to put them in uncomfortable positions over and over again. Hats off to him.

jrbro4 , 1/21/13 1:33 PM

Fed looks to be in good form eh?

chr18 , 1/21/13 1:46 PM

Yeah, although it's always harder to judge when players are playing against big servers. However, his serve is clicking, his error count has been quite low in the last two matches and his movement has been very good. I think the second set against Tomic was a better indication of where he is at with his game. Tomic through everything at him in the latter stages of that set and Fed held firm. The only thing I wasn't happy with was the amount of times he sliced the return back on break points against Tomic. I would have liked to have seen him come over the top a few more times and go for the winner. If he had dome that that second set would never have gone to a tiebreak, he would dusted it off 6-3 at the worst.

jrbro4 , 1/21/13 1:53 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
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