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Flawless Federer Sets Tsonga Clash

Melbourne, Australia

Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer is yet to be tested in Melbourne.

Roger Federer is yet to put a foot wrong at the Australian Open, advancing to the fourth round in Melbourne without dropping a set. On Saturday, the sixth seed defeated Temuraz Gabashvili 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 41 minutes.

"I'm happy that from my side I'm winning my matches in straight sets," said Federer. "It's been different conditions every match: the heat first and the indoor match and now normal conditions today with a bit of wind. So it's just good to get through and get a good feel out there and make sure if you've got a chance to win your matches easier to do so. That's what I was able to do today, so I'm pleased."

The 32-year-old Federer is through to the fourth round in Melbourne for the 13th year in a row. He has a tournament-best 71-10 event record, winning the title in 2004 (d. Safin), 2006 (d. Baghdatis), 2007 (d. Gonzalez) and 2010 (d. Murray). He has lost in the semi-finals the past three years.

The Basel native is looking to win his 18th Grand Slam championship and first since beating Andy Murray in the 2012 Wimbledon final. He opened his 2014 campaign with a runner-up showing at the Brisbane International (l. to Hewitt).

Watch Match Highlights

In his first meeting since 2007 with Gabashvili, Federer saved the five break points he faced and broke the Russian five times from 14 opportunities. "I had to work for it," said Federer. "Once I got the lead, then I was able to stretch. It was an interesting match. I had to defend much more than I had to in my previous match. Of course it was a totally different opponent, but I think it was, in a way, a tricky match today."

Federer goes on to face 10th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who won an all-French clash with Gilles Simon 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 53 minutes. Simon had battled through to the third round with two five-set wins over Daniel Brands and Marin Cilic.

Tsonga reached his first Grand Slam final at the Australian Open in 2008 (l. to Djokovic) and defeated Federer in their last meeting in the Roland Garros quarter-finals last year. The 28-year-old Tsonga is looking to reach the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park for the second year in a row, having fallen at that stage last year to Federer. Overall, he trails their 4-9 FedEx ATP Head2Head series 4-9.

"For me it's the possibility to take revenge because last year I lost against him here in the quarter-finals," said Tsonga. "It's a good opportunity for me to play him again. And it's always nice to play against such a good player. The tournament continues for me and I'm feeling good."

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