Two-time defending champion Roger Federer produced his best tennis of the year on Friday to celebrate his 100th match at the Rod Laver Arena. In the third round of the Australian Open, the 20-time Major winner stormed past American Taylor Fritz 6-2, 7-5, 6-2.
On way to his victory, the Swiss master also extended his Open-era record for the most appearances in the fourth round of a Grand Slam to 63 with an 88-minute demolition.
"I wanted to get out of the blocks quickly, because I knew of the threat of Taylor, his possibilities on serve and what he can do with his return, especially against the second serve. I had to focus to make sure I got off to that good start, and I did. The second set was tight, was tough, with few chances as he protected his serve well, and then it was close at the end. There were some tough points, it was fun, and I had a really good feeling out here today against someone who can be very dangerous in the future," Federer said.
Next up for Federer is Greek 14th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4 at the Margaret Court Arena.
"It's a different generation of players," Federer said of the prospect of facing 20-year-old Tsitsipas after downing 21-year-old Fritz.
"They grew up with different string and racquet technology, and different coaches. It's not so much volleys we see, but my next opponent, Tsitsipas, actually likes to come to net. I like to see that, so I think it’s going to be interesting," the Swiss master opined before signing off.