Roger Federer brushed aside brash up-and-comer and home-crowd favorite Bernard Tomic 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 in Australian Open third-round action Saturday night, recording his 250th match win in Grand Slam tournaments.
The 31-year-old Federer, a four-time champion in Melbourne, came out on fire with his serve and took the first set on the strength of one break.
In the second set, the Swiss also cruised to one easy service hold after another but he was unable to earn a break point and the set came down to a tiebreaker, which Tomic led 4-1 before Federer reeled off six of the final seven points.
That turnaround took all the wind out of the Australian's sails and the third set was a mere formality.
Tomic - 11 years Federer's junior - had cheekily suggested earlier this week that the world No. 2, who has reached 34 consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals dating back to Wimbledon 2004, might not even advance to their third-round match.
That remark and the fact that the Australian had not lost a match in 2013 heading into Saturday night's showdown figured to elicit a focused effort from Federer, and that was the case at Rod Laver Arena.
Federer, however, said in the post-match press conference that he had paid little attention to Tomic's comments.
"I didn't read much. I didn't hear much, to be honest. I think it's important to be confident, but obviously you respect the game and you respect, yeah, the other players," the 17-time Grand Slam champ said.
In other action Saturday, Frenchman Jeremy Chardy scored the biggest upset of the tournament thus far on the men's side, ousting sixth-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 3-6, 6-3.
Del Potro said afterward that he was disappointed with the result but credited his opponent for his strong play and composure in closing out the match.
"The tournament for me is over now. I have to work hard because the season just started. I believe in my game, myself. I will work very, very hard for the future," the 24-year-old said.
Scotland's Andy Murray, the No. 3 seed, also advanced to the round of 16 with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis.
On the women's side, world No. 1 and defending champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus dropped a set in her third-round match Saturday against American Jamie Hampton but came out on top 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
American five-time champ Serena Williams, the No. 3 seed, also advanced to the round of 16 by routing Japan's Ayumi Morita 6-1, 6-3. EFE