Federer passes Karlovic test

Four-time champion Roger Federer advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open Friday, topping Ivo Karlovic 7-6(6), 7-5, 6-3 in two hours and 17 minutes. With the win, Federer improved to a 10-1 record against the Croat.

The two were deadlocked in a service battle in the opening set, with neither seeing a break point opportunity. In the ensuing tie-break, Karlovic served for the set up 6-5. Rushing the net and carving a drop volley, Karlovic seemed to be in a winning position, but Federer did the near impossible, scooping up a lob that the 6’ 10’’ Karlovic was unable to handle. The Swiss won the next two points to snatch the momentum, winning the hard-fought set in 53 minutes. "Thank God, he gave me a second serve and gave me a slight chance," said Federer.

"I might have had a little bit of a lucky volley, but I also had quick reflexes at the net... Then after that, I maybe relaxed a bit. I got a bit of a better read on his serve potentially and just knew what I also wanted to do on my own service games."

From there, Federer slowly began to impose himself on Karlovic’s serve and finally earned break point opportunities in the 12th game of the second set, capitalising on his second chance to take a two set lead. The 16-time major champion went on to convert an early service break in the third set, and maintained his lead, finishing the match by winning 78 per cent of his service points. "Overall I feel good," Federer said. "It was a good match for me and a good last week or so. No back issues at all today. I didn't even think about it, to be honest. So it was a good day at the office."

Federer and Karlovic were meeting for the first time since the 2009 Wimbledon quarter-finals, a match Federer won in straight sets en route to lifting the trophy. Karlovic has only broken Federer once in the 28 sets that they’ve played.

In the fourth round, Federer will square off against the winner of a night-session match featuring No. 13 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov and 19-year-old Australian Bernard Tomic.

Date: 20.01.2012, Source: ATP


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