MELBOURNE, January 20, 2018
Two former Top 5 players headlined Saturday evening’s Australian Open action on Hisense Arena, with No. 19 seed Tomas Berdych defeating the tournament’s No. 12 Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3, 6-3, 6-2. Berdych, who fell to Roger Federer at this stage last year, has reached the round of 16 for the 10th time in his career and overtook Ivan Lendl at the top of the list for most round of 16 appearances here by a Czech man.
Berdych fired 20 aces, winning 77 per cent of his first service points to secure victory in two hours and 16 minutes. Next up for 32-year-old will be Fabio Fognini of Italy.
Later in the evening on Rod Laver Arena, Roger Federer defeated Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-2, 7-5, 6-4. The second seed from Switzerland hit 42 winners and converted five of his eight break point chances to prevail after just under two hours of play.
“My head’s still spinning from the match point where I got so lucky so I’m just trying to get over that one,” Federer said with a laugh on court after the match. “I think I was able to maybe stay a little bit more on the offensive than he was and maybe I was protecting my own serve a little bit better than him, I don’t know. But the second set was tight, the match was close.”
Federer will next take on Marton Fucsovics of Hungary.