Sublime Federer makes it no-Australian Open
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Roger Federer humbled local favourite Bernard Tomic 6-4 7-6 6-1 to sail into the last 16 of the Australian Open and then apologised to a the centre court crowd for "beating up" on the home players. Saturday's clash between master and apprentice briefly caught fire in the middle stages but fizzled out as the Swiss dispatched the last Australian from the tournament.
The outcome was a repeat of Federer's straight-sets victory over Tomic in the fourth round last year, and came three years after he ousted Australia's former world number one Lleyton Hewitt at the same stage. "It's nice that you guys invite me back every year," Federer told a crowd of 15,000. "It's not my favourite part of the job, beating up on the home heroes.". Tomic had raised the stakes in the leadup, declaring himself confident of upsetting the 17-times Grand Slam champion.
Del Potro crashes out
Juan Martin del Potro was on the receiving end of the shock on Saturday when an inspired Jeremy Chardy led a four-strong French charge into the last 16 with a 6-3 6-3 6-7 3-6 6-3 win. After five days without any upsets of note at the year's first Slam, two came along within minutes. As Chardy was packing up his rackets on Hisense Arena, Italian Andreas Seppi was securing his place as the Frenchman's next opponent by wrapping up a 6-7 6-3 2-6 6-4 6-2 win over Croatian 12th seed Marin Cilic, a semi-finalist in 2010.
Third seed Serena Williams showed no discomfort from the ankle strain she sustained in the opening round and stormed back after a 0-3 start to the second set to win the next six games and dismiss Japanese Ayumi Morita 6-1 6-3. But defending champion and world number one Victoria Azarenka was forced to dig deep for her 6-4 4-6 6-2 victory over American Jamie Hampton.