Australian Open: Defending Champion Roger Federer Crushes Young American Opponent Taylor Fritz

Australian Open male defending champion Roger Federer marked his 100th match on Rod Laver Arena by storming past American Taylor Fritz in the third round on Friday. Federer put on a vintage performance to set up a mouth-watering fourth-round clash with Greek superstar Stefanos Tsitsipas. Federer was pushed in the second set by 21-year-old American Fritz but pulled off a succession of highlight-reel shots in a 6-2 7-5 6-2 victory, hitting 34 winners in an 88-minute demolition job.  “I think he played really well there. I actually did too. I thought it was really high-quality tennis,” said Federer, who has yet to drop a set this year and came into the Australian Open on the back of victory at the Hopman Cup in Perth. “This is obviously a different type of match, it being best of five, it being a fourth round of a Slam.” The 37-year-old Swiss will play in the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the 63rd time against a man through to that stage for just the second time in 20-year-old Tsitsipas. Tsitsipas is arguably the most exciting young star in tennis and he battled to a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili. “I’m happy for him. He’s playing so well, and I’m looking forward to the match-up with him. I think it’s going to be a good one,” Federer said of Tsitsipas. “I like how he mixes up his game and also comes to the net. So will I. I think we will see some athletic attacking tennis being played.” A resurgent Tomas Berdych is also through to the last 16 for the eighth time in the last nine years here after a 5-7 6-3 7-5 6-4 victory over 18th seed Diego Schwartzman. Photo Credit: Getty

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