Federer slaps down Tomic after Del Potro upset

Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:46am EST
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By Nick Mulvenney

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Roger Federer was in no mood to let a trend develop after the first real upsets of the week at the Australian Open tennis on Saturday and slapped down local upstart Bernard Tomic with authority to reach the fourth round.

Juan Martin del Potro stunned Federer to win the U.S. Open in 2009 but the Argentine sixth seed was on the receiving end of the shock on Saturday when an inspired Jeremy Chardy led a four-strong French charge into the last 16.

Serena Williams and Andy Murray never looked like losing sometimes challenging contests earlier in the day but defending champion and world number one Victoria Azarenka had a closer call and was forced to dig deep for her victory.

All eyes were on the evening match in Rod Laver Arena, however, where Tomic had been talking up his chances of translating his good early-season form into a victory over a player rated by many as the best to ever pick up a racket.

Tomic gave his best and came within two points of winning a thrilling second-set tiebreak but the 17-times grand-slam champion simply upped the gears, pulled out a couple of extraordinary winners, and raced away to a 6-4 7-6 6-1 victory.

"I had to be able to bring the whole repertoire to the court today, defense and offence, which I enjoy," said the second seed, who next faces Milos Raonic, before offering some advice to Tomic.

"I think it's important to be confident but obviously you respect the game and you respect the other players. I think he has a lot of respect for me."

Del Potro battled back from two sets down to level his third-round contest but the mercurial Chardy grabbed a break in the decider and held his nerve to serve out for a 6-3 6-3 6-7 3-6 6-3 win.   Continued...

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates defeating Bernard Tomic of Australia in their men's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 19, 2013. REUTERS/David Gray