Federer sets up match against Tomic and Australia

Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:30am EST
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - After routing old sparring partner Nikolay Davydenko at the Australian Open on Thursday, Roger Federer shifted his focus to humbling one of the young guns in his third round clash against local favorite Bernard Tomic.

Local media hyped up the potential match-up with the release of the draw, and the 43rd-ranked Tomic, the bad boy of tennis Down Under and last Australian in the draw, fuelled the frenzy by declaring he could beat the 17-times grand slam champion.

Federer, who cruised past Davydenko 6-3 6-4 6-4 on a balmy night at Rod Laver Arena, beat Tomic in front of 15,000 of his compatriots on centre court in the fourth round last year.

The 31-year-old Federer was a paragon of Swiss neutrality as he looked ahead to the match, but was goaded into reminding the plucky 20-year-old of the gulf between the players.

"Look, I have so much more experience than him," Federer said, when asked to clarify comments about aiming to dominate Tomic physically.

"Last year I reached my thousandth match on tour. That's what I meant. I know how hard a five‑setter can be. I know how intense a night session can be and all these things.

"Whatever that means, length of rally, length of match, intensity, I've been there. That could potentially help me, but it could also not help me.

"We'll see how it goes. But he's done a really nice job today, for instance, in the heat."   Continued...

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates defeating Nikolay Davydenko of Russia in their men's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 17, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj