Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Sports

Federer takes out local hero

MELBOURNE, Australia — The bravado he built by holding serve for 76 games dissolved in six points. It was Roger Federer on the other side of the net this time, in a major, and he gave 20-year-old Bernard Tomic an instant reality check.

"I elected to serve, considering I was serving really well the last few weeks," Tomic said. "Yeah … that first service game was important. I lost it. Then I was like, 'Oh, no!' "

The last Aussie — in either the men's or women's draw — exited the Australian Open on Saturday, with Federer, the No. 2 seed, beating Tomic 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 in the third round.

"It's not my favorite part of the job beating up on the hometown heroes," Federer told the crowd at Rod Laver Arena, where he has won four of his 17 Grand Slam titles. "But it's nice that you guys sort of invite me back every year."

Federer earned his 250th win at a Grand Slam event, the milestone sprinkled with some of his classic crisp volleys and trademark one-handed backhands. Federer won the first point of the match with a forehand winner, the first of three in that game, and Tomic only won two points before Federer converted a service break in the first game.

Federer faces Milos Raonic, who won 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 6-4 against Philipp Kohlschreiber in a battle of two big servers.

The women's draw saw one upset this morning as No. 19 seed Ekaterina Makarova took out the highest seed to tumble so far at the season's first major, beating No. 5 Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-4.

Makarova's win came in the same round in which she defeated Serena Williams here last year.

The 24-year-old could meet a fellow Russian, No. 2-ranked Maria Sharapova, in the quarterfinals, at the same stage they met last year. Sharapova faced Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens early today.

"Seems like it was the same this year and last year. Unbelievable feeling," Makarova said. "I really like to play here. The crowd is so perfect."

American Sloane Stephens, the No. 29 seed, beat Laura Robson 7-5, 6-3 in a matchup between the only female teenagers left. Stephens, 19, has a fourth-round match against Bojana Jovanovski, who ended the run of 42-year-old Kimko Date-Krumm, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3).

Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, fell 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 3-6, 6-3 to Jeremy Chardy. Only three major winners remained in the men's draw: Federer, Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Andy Murray, who advanced to the fourth round with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 win over qualifier Ricardas Berankis.

No. 4 seed David Ferrer advanced to the quarterfinals, defeating Japan's Kei Nishikori, the No. 16 seed, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.

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Published: 04/24/18