Saturday’s play at the 2013 Australian Open was highlighted by the much anticipated third round match between Roger Federer and young Australian Bernard Tomic. The two faced off a year ago, in the fourth round, also in a night session match on Rod Laver Arena. The Swiss maestro dominated that match, but hype was built in this year’s edition.
Tomic started the season off strong, and also added fuel to the fire in a press conference regarding if the Swiss would reach the third round. He did indeed. Tomic had not dropped serve in 76 straight service games, but Federer broke the Aussie in the opening game of the match. That would be sufficient to secure the first set after 34 minutes, 6-4.
Credit to Tomic, he saved three set points when facing break points, as well as two more early in the second set. Level of play was high throughout the first two sets from both players, which only intensified later in the second set. Tomic saved all six break points against his serve, but faltered on four unsuccessful challenges. Perhaps wisdom does come with age. However it was the young Aussie who earned the first mini-break, which Federer then took away after coming back from 4-1 down, hitting remarkable winners and impeccable defense. The Swiss star stunned the crowd with his drop volleys and twice with backhand winners from seemingly impossible angles.
Early in the third set, it was a race which left Tomic behind. Federer raced off toward victory, breaking Tomic twice more. After 1 hour 58 minutes, the Swiss maestro advanced to the fourth round, 6-4 7-6 (5) 6-1. He will face a tall challenge in Milos Raonic on Monday.
Highlights (via official Australian Open YouTube channel – Day 6 highlights)
Federer Amazing Backhand (via official Australian Open YouTube channel)
ESPN highlight (Federer breaks Tomic)
ESPN highlights (Federer advances to 4th round)
Post-match interview with Jim Courier.
Mini-movie: Federer vs Tomic (via official Australian Open YouTube channel)