Roger Federer reaches record 27th straight quarterfinal
Melbourne: Defending champion Roger Federer added another record to his vast collection today, matching Jimmy Connors’ mark for consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals appearances when he beat Tommy Robredo 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 at the Australian Open.
Federer has reached the quarterfinals for 27 consecutive majors since his third-round exit in the 2004 French Open, equaling Connors’ Open-era record.
The 16-time Grand Slam winner didn’t concede a point on his serve in the first set, but had a lapse in the second when Robredo’s serve was dominant and he took a set off Federer for only the third time in 10 matches.
“I was struggling with my return, I couldn’t get the balls into play I wanted to,” Federer said. “I didn’t have the best of games at 4-3 down, we don’t have much margin at the very top and it shows.”
Federer regained control in the third set and dominated after getting an early break to lead 2-0.
“It’s a lot of hard work. I’m sweating bullets right now,” he said. “I’m excited to be in the next round.”
Federer, aiming to be only the second man to win five Australian Open titles, will play either Andy Roddick or 19th-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in the quarterfinals. Roddick and Wawrinka play their fourth-round match tonight.
Number 3-ranked Djokovic is aiming for his second Australian crown. The 2008 champion advanced to the quarterfinals for the 13th time in the last 15 majors with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 win over No. 14 Nicolas Almagro and will next play 2010 Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych, who beat Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.
Caroline Wozniacki moved into the Australian Open quarterfinals for the first time with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Anastasija Sevastova and is just one victory from ensuring she’ll retain the top ranking.
The 20-year-old Dane, playing her first major as world No. 1, reached the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park for the first time. She can keep her top ranking with an appearance in the semis.
Li Na, already China’s most successful player, reached the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-3 win over eighth-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.
The ninth-seeded Li was one of two Chinese players to reach the semifinals at Melbourne Park last year, her run ending with a loss to eventual champion Serena Williams in two tiebreak sets.
While Wozniacki says she’s not frightened of any of her fellow players, she did use part of her post-match press conference to describe an up-close encounter with a baby kangaroo that had scarred her.
She said she tried to pet the kangaroo and it scratched her, and noted she had seen a doctor and rejected advice to get stitches.
But she later tweeted: “Round 2 with the media:) hope you enjoyed my kangaroo story, hope you know i was just kidding:) see you on Tuesday for round 3!”