Federer and Serena power into quarter-finals
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...