Australia Open 2018: Roger Federer bests Richard Gasquet, enters fourth round in Melbourne
Roger Federer eased into the second week of the Australian Open for the 16th time after beating Richard Gasquet 6-2 7-5 6-4 in slightly below two hours on Saturday to stay on monitor for a 20th grand slam title.
Gasquet performed a wonderful match, studded along with his trademark occasional moments of shot-making brilliance, however a tally of 27 winners in opposition to 16 unforced errors was nonetheless not sufficient to place sustained strain on the Swiss grasp.
Watched from the stands by his hero Rod Laver, Federer shifted up the gears as and when required to outwit his French opponent on the primary showcourt named in honour of the Australian 11-times grand slam champion. The 36-year-old second seed was relatively lucky to clinch the match with a backhand winner after Gasquet had fired his shot off the online wire however he was undoubtedly a worthy winner, reaching the fourth round with out conceding a set up to now.
“The match was close, tough games, the end could have gone to a tiebreaker then you never know,” Federer mentioned on court docket.
“I was able to be a bit more on the offensive than he was, maybe I was protecting my second serve a bit better than him.”
Federer returned from a prolonged damage layoff to say his fifth Australian Open title final 12 months and 12 months on he was shifting as freely and dominating a lot as he did in his heyday.
“My expectations are a little different because I had a great season last year,” he added.
“I’m coming in this year well-equipped, fully fit, I know that five sets is not an issue this year, while last year that was a bit of a question mark.”
While a break for 3-1 with a forehand winner was sufficient for Federer to go on and safe the opening set after a Gasquet double fault, he bided his time in the second earlier than putting at 6-5 as much as break once more and double his lead.
Gasquet had some misfortune with Hawkeye in the second set, having what seemed like a good problem turned down as a result of the system was not working earlier than taking place 2-Zero when the rebooted expertise confirmed he had gone lengthy on set level.
A Federer break in the second sport of the third set was cancelled out in the seventh when Gasquet grabbed his first break factors, however as soon as once more the Swiss pounced to take the match by the scruff of the neck on the key second.
He served out to like for 5-4 and, though Gasquet saved his first match level with a ninth wonderful backhand winner, there was no denying Federer’s progress on his second.
He will subsequent face his first profession assembly with Hungarian Marton Fucsovics for a spot in the quarter-finals.
“He came to train with me in Switzerland last year,” mentioned Federer. “He was great, super nice guy, hard-working, he’s a great baseliner, really strong, so I’m happy I know him a little bit.”