Federer and Serena power into quarter-finals

Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:02am EST
 
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Roger Federer delivered a lesson to the next generation at the Australian Open, extending his record to a 35th consecutive grand slam quarter-final after Serena Williams set up a clash with her would-be successor.

The Swiss maestro sent 22-year-old Canadian Milos Raonic packing with a 6-4 7-6 6-2 masterclass under the lights of Rod Laver Arena on Monday, providing a blueprint for Williams ahead of her all-American quarter-final against teenager Sloane Stephens.

The 31-year-old Williams appeared in little need for tips, however, as she demolished Maria Kirilenko 6-2 6-0 earlier in the evening session to notch her 35th appearance in the last eight of a grand slam.

U.S. Open champion Andy Murray, who like Federer has not lost a set at Melbourne Park, clobbered shattered 14th seed Gilles Simon 6-3 6-1 6-3 to go to within three wins of back-to-back grand slam titles.

Needing a measly 57 minutes to dispatch the 14th-seeded Russian, Williams will face another woman in a hurry in 19-year-old Stephens.

The wise-cracking up-and-comer has been touted as an heir to the 15-times grand slam champion Williams and burnished her credentials with a poised 6-1 3-6 7-5 win over Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski in the afternoon sun at Hisense Arena.

Williams has been branded a mentor to the impressive Stephens, whom she beat in the leadup tournament in Brisbane but with a sixth title at Melbourne Park on the line, she quickly backed away from the role.

"I don't know. I mean, I would need a better definition of the word 'mentor'," Williams told reporters.   Continued...

 
Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates defeating Maria Kirilenko of Russia in their women's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj