AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2013
Federer Topples Raonic To Reach 35th Successive Major QF
by ATP Staff|
World No. 2 Roger Federer advanced to his 35th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final on Monday night in Melbourne as he defeated Canadian Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-2.
"Obviously times have changed. Conditions have slowed down. That gives you an opportunity to maybe be more consistent in all four majors," said Federer. "Maybe I'm taking away things from me a little bit. But I truly believe things are a bit easier to play more consistent today.
"Tonight was a very solid night, so I'm very happy," continued Federer. "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.”
The Swiss is bidding to become only the second man in history, after Roy Emerson, to win five Australian Open titles. He lifted the trophy at Melbourne Park in 2004 (d. Safin), 2006 (d.Baghdatis), 2007 (d. Gonzalez) and 2010 (d. Murray).
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Against Raonic, Federer was on top of his return game, limiting the 6’5’’ Canadian to winning just 50 per cent of points behind his second serve. He broke the famed Raonic serve three times and did not face a break point himself. Indeed, the Swiss has not dropped a service game in his four matches so far.
"I thought I had a good night," reflected Federer. "I was focused on what I wanted to do and was able to come through. Important obviously was first to focus on my own serve before even thinking about how to return Milos'. But I did a good job tonight. As the match went on, I started to feel better.
“I felt good out there. I was moving well, had good anticipation and reaction today, which was key obviously on the return.”
Said Raonic, "In the conditions, he's playing well, not missing much. As soon as you let up a little bit with a shorter ball or anything, he's taking advantage of it. He's doing a lot of things well. That's Roger. Just sort of swept me off the court."
The 22-year-old Canadian revealed he was troubled with a left foot injury, having an MRI scan earlier in the day before going on court following a pain-killing injection.
"Even though I was limited in some things, there's some things to compete with Roger, to compete with Novak, to compete with Andy, to compete with Rafa that I need to do better. I take those things and I learn.
"For myself, I know there's a lot of things I need to improve. Movement, backhand, returns, forehands, keeping hold of my serve, a lot of these changes. It's a process. It takes time. I just plug away. I work away. I give it my all every day. I just hope to keep getting better and better."
Watch Video: Raonic Visits Eureka Tower
The 31-year-old Federer, a winner of 17 major titles, goes onto face World No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The Frenchman trails Federer 3-8 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, but has beaten him in Grand Slam play before, winning their Wimbledon quarter-final clash in 2011 in five sets.