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Roger Federer delivered another stinging lesson to the next generation of men's tennis at the Australian Open on Monday, mauling Canadian Milos Raonic in straight sets to extend his record to a 35th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final. Federer completed his 6-4 7-6 6-2 masterclass in less than two hours.
Federer's emphatic win followed Serena Williams's 6-2 6-0 demolition of Maria Kirilenko, which set up her own generational battle with teenager Sloane Stephens. Williams needed a measly 57 minutes to secure her 35th Grand Slam quarter-final, and will face another woman in a hurry in teenager Stephens. The wise-cracking 19-year-old has been touted as an heir to Williams and bolstered her credentials with a poised 6-1 3-6 7-5 win over Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski.
Williams defeated the impressive Stephens in the leadup tournament in Brisbane, and stopped short of describing herself as a mentor to the up-and-comer. If Williams needed any inspiration as to how to smack down the next generation, she would have done well to remain at Rod Laver Arena to watch the Swiss maestro.
Federer drew Raonic's sting in a tight second set before romping to victory with 34 sparkling winners to set up a quarter-final with France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Stephens can afford to buy something sparkling after qualifying for her first Slam quarter-final, which secured $263,000 in prize-money. "I'm sure my mum's had, like, four heart attacks," Stephens said courtside, raising a laugh from the crowd. "I try to save all my money because I don't want to be old and broke."
Britain's Andy Murray has not lost a set at Melbourne Park and derived little joy from his 6-1 6-3 6-1 clobbering of shattered 14th seed Simon, with the Frenchman reduced to a staggering wreck in the closing stages. Simon had been exhausted by compatriot Gael Monfils in a five-set marathon in his previous match and could do little more than stick out his racket and hope as he slumped to his 10th straight loss to the Scot. Four Frenchmen advanced to the last 16 for the first time since 1998 and 36th-ranked Chardy kept the tricolore flag waving with a 5-7 6-3 6-2 6-2 win over Italian Andreas Seppi. The win ensured France would have two men in the last eight, with seventh seed Tsonga grinding down compatriot Richard Gasquet 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-2.