Vintage Federer books Murray quarter-final

Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:38am EST
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A majestic Roger Federer emphatically returned to the grand slam big-time by trouncing Jo Wilfried-Tsonga 6-3 7-5 6-4 at the Australian Open on Monday to book a blockbuster quarter-final with Wimbledon champion Andy Murray.

The former world number one, coming off a wretched 2013, channeled the halcyon days of his new coach Stefan Edberg, swooping at the net to fell the stunned Frenchman at an electric Rod Laver Arena.

Having suffered early exits at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, Federer muscled into his 41st grand slam quarter-final, equaling the record of American Jimmy Connors in the professional era.

Under the watchful eye of Edberg - one of the game's finest serve-volleyers - the Swiss master fittingly sealed the match with an imperious cross-court volley and declared the crisis of confidence that blighted last season banished.

"For me personally, I've overcome it, I don't have doubts anymore," the 32-year-old told reporters.

"I know I'm going definitely in the right direction. I've had a great off-season. I had a strong end to the year. I couldn't have worked harder in the off-season.

"This was a big test for me.

"What I've shown over the last three to four months to myself is that I'm more confident, that I know I'm most likely going to play okay in my next match, which wasn't always the case midway through last year."   Continued...

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France during their men's singles match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 20, 2014. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic