Federer topples Raonic to reach 35th successive major QF

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).

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 31-year-old Federer, a winner of 17 major titles, goes onto face World No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday. The Frenchman trails Federer 3-8 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

Date: 21st January 2013, Source: ATP


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