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Roger Federer beats Richard Gasquet to reach Australian Open fourth round

Roger Federer continued his dominance over Richard Gasquet to reach the round of 16 at the Australian Open on Saturday and keep his quest for a 20th Grand Slam title on track.

tennis Updated: Jan 20, 2018 22:19 IST
Omnisport
Roger Federer,Richard Gasquet,Australian Open
Roger Federer hits a return against Richard Gasquet during their Australian Open match on Saturday.(AFP)

Roger Federer was at his graceful best as he outclassed Richard Gasquet 6-2 7-5 6-4 to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open on Saturday.

Defending champion Federer, looking to claim a 20th career grand slam in Melbourne, produced a trademark performance against the 29th seed, who has never been past round four at the tournament.

Federer had already beaten Aljaz Bedene and Jan Lennard-Struff without dropping a set and was again in imperious form against an opponent he has now beaten 17 times and not lost to since 2011.

The evergreen 36-year-old can now look forward to a last-16 meeting against Marton Fucsovics.

The match started at a relentless pace, but Federersoon gained the initiative. An unforced error followed by a weak second serve from Gasquet allowed the Swiss to emphatically hammer home a forehand down the line for the first break.

Federer was at his irrepressible best with Gasquet struggling to land a glove on his opponent, and in game eight a down-the-line backhand of typical effortless grace set the marker for a second break and the set, which was sealed by a limp double fault by the Frenchman.

It was a much tighter contest in the second set, with Gasquet clinically disposing several shots,but break-point opportunities were not forthcoming.

And when he served to stay in the set, Gasquetwas undone by some vintage Federer play. A whipped forehand brought up break point and, after relentless pressure, a long forehand saw the Swiss take a two-set lead.

Gasquet had more winners and fewer errors in that set, but was staring down the barrel after surrendering serve at the first opportunity in the third - a costly double fault subsequently punished bya fine drop shot.

To his credit, Gasquet refused to wilt and pounced on a sloppy Federer service game to break back in game seven.

Federer soon reapplied the pressure, though, and wrapped up victory on his second match point with a backhand winner.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Federer [2] bt Gasquet [29] 6-2 7-5 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Federer – 42/30
Gasquet – 27/16

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Federer – 12/1
Gasquet – 3/3

BREAK POINTS WON
Federer – 5/8
Gasquet – 1/2

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Federer – 65
Gasquet – 68

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Federer – 80/42
Gasquet – 67/41

TOTAL POINTS
Federer – 100
Gasquet – 84

First Published: Jan 20, 2018 18:19 IST