Clinical Federer downs Raonic to reach last eight

Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:00am EST
 
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By Nick Mulvenney

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Roger Federer said he was energized by facing younger players after handing Milos Raonic a masterclass in clinical tennis at the Australian Open on Monday to reach a 35th straight grand slam quarter-final.

Federer defused the 22-year-old Canadian's serve and held his own comfortably before shifting up the gears when necessary to race to a 6-4 7-6 6-2 victory.

Raonic was not at his best, having had a pain-killing injection for inflamed joints in his foot prior to the match, but was left demoralized as Federer cracked 34 winners and pounced upon anything short.

After world number one Novak Djokovic was taken to the brink of defeat in a five-hour thriller against Federer's fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka on Sunday, there was much anticipation that the second seed could face a similar challenge.

Big-serving Raonic had taken a set off Federer in all three of their previous meetings but even that never looked likely in their fourth round clash on a cool Rod Laver Arena.

Federer wrapped up the first set when Raonic netted a volley, the second with a brilliant forehand down the line to take the tiebreak 7-4, and the third with another big forehand winner.

"I felt good out there," the 31-year-old said. "I was moving well, had good anticipation and reaction today, which was key obviously on the return. In the third set I started to feel extremely good on the return.

"I played well. I think I played tactically well tonight and was able to keep the points short on my own service games."   Continued...

 
Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return to Milos Raonic of Canada during their men's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne