Thursday 12 December 2019

Tennis: Federer cruises through to set up clash with Australian hopeful Bernard Tomic

Roger Federer swatted aside the challenge of Russian veteran Nikolay Davydenko to join title contenders Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray in the third round of the Australian Open today.

Federer was at his elegant best to cruise through 6-3 6-4 6-4 and improve his head-to-head record against Davydenko to 18 wins from 20 matches.

The world number two, bidding to become just the second man in history to claim five Australian Open crowns, will now meet home hope Bernard Tomic.

Tomic earlier hit back to beat Daniel Brands in four sets, after which he talked up his chances of beating the 17-time major winner.

"I feel so confident," he said. "It is the perfect time to play him. I've got a good attitude to win, and I think I can do it."

The pair met at the fourth-round stage last year with Federer dropping just eight games in a masterclass.

"That was the second time I played Roger and he played pretty well that day," Tomic added.

"I have my tactics on what I have to do. We'll see."

Federer was fortunate to play his match with Davydenko after the sun had gone down on a brutally hot day in Melbourne.

Murray played early in the afternoon, beating Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-2 6-2 6-4.

It was a day for getting the job done quickly and Murray obliged, spending just one hour and 41 minutes on Hisense Arena.

US Open champion and third seed Murray said: "It doesn't matter how much training you do, it's tough in these conditions.

"It's extremely hot, especially when the sun comes through the clouds. It's good to get it done in three sets.

"The longer the rallies go the tougher it becomes on the legs.

"You need to get in control of the points and dictate them because otherwise you will get very tired very quickly."

The match itself was a no-contest, the outcome never in doubt with Sousa's game simply not big enough to cause Murray any significant problems.

Next up for the Scot is a meeting with resurgent Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis, who beat 25th seed Florian Mayer for the loss of just six games.

"I have practised with Berankis a lot," said Murray.

"He is a very hard worker, he has had a couple of injuries over the last couple of years and it will be tough."

Sixth seed Juan Martin Del Potro and seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also moved through.

Del Potro cruised past Benjamin Becker 6-2 6-4 6-2 while Tsonga saw off Japanese Go Soeda 6-3 7-6 (7/1) 6-3.

Although pleased with the win, seventh seed Tsonga was not satisfied by the manner in which he achieved it.

"I didn't play a good match," complained the Frenchman. "I didn't have the right attitude in this match. Hopefully I will be better in the next one and try to play my game more than I did today."

Tsonga will play Blaz Kavkic in round three after the Slovenian came through a five-set struggle with Australian wild card James Duckworth.

Three more Frenchman also advanced, Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet.

Monfils continued his comeback from injury by outlasting Lu Yen-Hsun 7-6 (7/5) 4-6 0-6 6-1 8-6. In a remarkable finish, Monfils clinched the match on his fourth match point having served double faults on the previous three.

He will now play Simon, seeded 14th, who needed four sets to beat Jesse Levine. Ninth seed Gasquet beat Alejandro Falla in three.

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