Imparting another master class
Roger Federer and Andy Murray were locked on collision course at the Australian Open today as an unstoppable Serena Williams powered towards her third straight Grand Slam title.sports Updated: Jan 22, 2013 01:53 IST
Roger Federer and Andy Murray were locked on collision course at the Australian Open on Monday as an unstoppable Serena Williams powered towards her third straight Grand Slam title.
As Novak Djokovic regrouped after his late-night thriller against Stanislas Wawrinka, Federer and Murray had no such problems as they breezed into the quarter-finals.
Murray had the simplest of tasks against a weakened Gilles Simon, still struggling after his marathon win over Gael Monfils, while Federer easily had the weapons to deal with the machine-gun serve of Milos Raonic.
Federer needed a solitary break to edge the first set, and then won tiebreaker for the second before he swept through the last to take it 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2.
The Swiss master, now into his 35th consecutive Slam quarter-final and seeking his 18th major title, said "good reflexes" were the key to coping with Raonic's bullet serve.
In no shape
Meanwhile, Simon was in no state to face US Open champion Murray, and he quickly went down 6-3, 6-1, 6-3, calling it "a painful hour-and-a-half."
Murray called it a "tough situation" but he admitted his mind was already on his next match, a quarter-final with France's world No. 36 Jeremy Chardy. The Briton is scheduled to face Federer in the semi-finals.
Chardy reached his first Slam quarters with a straight-sets defeat of Italian Andreas Seppi. He had never previously gone past the second round here.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, buoyed by new coach Roger Rasheed, beat Richard Gasquet in four sets to tee up a quarter-final against Federer.
Meanwhile the women's competition hotted up as Williams ran over a stunned Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-0 and her potential semi-final opponent, title-holder Victoria Azarenka, dominated Elena Vesnina 6-1, 6-1.
Williams dispatched Kirilenko in less than an hour as she reached her 35th Slam quarterfinal and set up a last-eight clash with fellow American Sloane Stephens, 19, who beat Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski.
Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova missed much of last season with injury but she said the break had done her good as she returned and beat ex-number one Caroline Wozniacki in three sets.