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Australian Open 2016

Roger Federer notches another milestone — 300 grand slam match wins — to his record at Australian Open

Aussie bad boy Nick Kyrgios clashes with umpire as he falls to Tomas Berdych, while defending champions Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic advance

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 January, 2016, 10:04pm
UPDATED : Friday, 22 January, 2016, 10:04pm

Roger Federer was already a long way clear at the top of the list of men with the most wins in grand slam singles matches, so becoming the first to 300 was not a major distraction.

He reached the milestone at Rod Laver Arena yesterday, when he moved into the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Grigor Dimitrov.

“It’s very exciting, I must tell you,” Federer said of his latest record, adding that reaching 1,000 wins in tour matches last year was also a cause for celebration. “It was a big deal for me.

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“Not something I ever aimed for or looked for, but when it happens, it’s very special. Yeah, you look deeper into it, I guess, where it’s all happened and how. So it’s very nice.”

In the last men’s match of the day, the crowd was entertained by Australian bad boy Nick Kyrgios, who repeatedly clashed with the umpire in his match against Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych.

Not something I ever aimed for or looked for, but when it happens, it’s very special
Roger Federer

The Czech sixth seed extinguished the hopes of the young Aussie showman with a regimented four-sets win to reach the fourth round.

Berdych, a two-time semi-finalist, was too cool and focused for the easily distracted 20-year-old, winning 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 in a rowdy night match on Rod Laver Arena.

The Czech advanced to the last 16 for the sixth consecutive grand slam where he will face Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, who knocked out 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic in straight sets.

The big-serving Berdych, faced with a partisan home crowd, mastered the occasion breaking Kyrgios’ serve three times, while the madcap Aussie repeatedly clashed with the umpire and engaged in a long-running conversation with himself.

The Czech iron man, who upset Rafael Nadal on the way to last year’s semi-finals, won the majority of the longer rallies and hit 44 winners, 26 of them on his big forehand.

Kyrgios gave his home supporters some hope with a fightback in the third set when he twice broke Berdych’s serve, but the Czech regrouped in the fourth set to clinically finish off the Aussie.

Kyrgios was defending ranking points after making the quarter-finals in last year’s event, where he lost to Andy Murray.

Defending champions and top-ranked Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic easily came through their night matches.

Six-time champion Williams raced to a 6-1, 6-1 win in 45 minutes over 18-year-old Russian Daria Kasatkina on Rod Laver Arena. She will next play Margarita Gasparyan, who beat Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 6-4.

Djokovic needed only 25 minutes to win the first set against No 28-seeded Andreas Seppi, but had a tougher time in the next two, saving two set points in the tiebreaker before winning 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (8-6) on Margaret Court Arena.

It was a great test. It was a physical match. I’m just glad I got through
Novak Djokovic

After making way for Williams on the main court, he noted it was his first match on Melbourne Park’s No 2 court since it was renovated to include a roof.

Djokovic, a five-time Australian Open champion, continued a streak of reaching at least the fourth round at every major since the 2009 French Open. He was also particularly wary of a third-rounder against Seppi, who beat four-time champion Federer at the same stage here last year.

“I played a quality player who took out Federer last year here and who has been on the tour for many years,” he said. “It was a great test. It was a physical match. I’m just glad I got through.”

Also advancing were 2014 US Open finalist Kei Nishikori, who had a 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over No 26-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and will next play 2008 Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, lost to No 24 Bautista Agut 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5.

No 15 David Goffin beat No 19 Dominic Thiem 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-5 – his first win against a top-20 player at a grand slam. He faces a tougher proposition next: Federer.

The 17-time major winner now is 67 clear of No 2 Jimmy Connors in grand slam singles wins, though Federer’s main aim is to win his first major since Wimbledon 2012.

He improved to 5-0 against Dimitrov, a young Bulgarian with a similar style.

Dimitrov needed treatment for an undisclosed ailment at times, but Federer didn’t cut him any slack – he lost in the third round here last year, his worst run at Melbourne Park since 2001.

“You’re aware of it – I’m a veteran so I,” don’t get distracted, Federer said. “I’ve been fooled too many times when I was a teenager. I hope he’s OK.”

Earlier in a rain-interrupted day at Melbourne Park, 2008 champion Maria Sharapova collected her 600th win at tour level.

She advanced with a 6-1, 6-7 (7-5), 6-0 win over Lauren Davis before she was reminded of the milestone, becoming the 17th woman to reach the mark.

“Wow. I’ve won 600 matches?” Sharapova said. “I think it’s a proud number.”

The fifth-seeded Sharapova will next play No 12 Belinda Bencic, who had a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Kateryna Bondarenko.

Roberta Vinci, who ended Williams’ bid for a calendar-year grand slam in 2015 with a shocking semi-final win at the US Open, lost 0-6, 6-4, 6-4 to Anna-Lena Friedsam, who will next face No 4 Agnieszka Radwanska.

Also progressing were No 10 Carla Suarez Navarro and Russian-born Australian Daria Gavrilova, who held off No 28 Kristina Mladenovic 6-4, 4-6, 11-9.

 

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