Melbourne: Ageless defending champion Roger Federer marked his 100th match on Rod Laver Arena on Friday by storming past American Taylor Fritz 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 in the third round.
The 21-year-old world number 50 had no answer to the precision and finesse of the Swiss master, who extended his Open-era record for the most appearances in the fourth round of a Grand Slam to 63 with an 88-minute demolition.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion will continue his quest for a record seventh Australian Open title against Greek 14th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the last-16.
Federer blitzed the young American from the start, barrelling through the first set in just 20 minutes.
It prompted Nick Kyrgios, commentating on Australian TV, to proclaim: "The way Federer is moving is scary. This is ridiculous tennis."
Former junior world number one Fritz was bidding to reach the last 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time and put up a better fight in the second stanza.
He held serve to lead 4-3 and had a glimmer of hope at 0-30 in the next.
But Federer, as he has done so many times in the 20 years he has been coming to
Melbourne, stepped up through the gears and got out of trouble by unleashing a repertoire of great shots including a serve-volley, a forehand winner up the line and ace.
At 5-5, Federer converted the second of two break points and served out for a two-set lead.
"Taylor played really well," said Federer.
"The first serve dropped up at times, but you can see the upside. He is going to have many more years on tour playing at this level. It is pretty cool to watch him play."
Federer was clearly in no mood to hang about and put his foot back down on the gas to race through the third in just 26 minutes.
Ominously for his rivals, he is yet to drop a set this year and came into the Australian Open on the back of victory in the mixed teams Hopman Cup.
Federer has won the last two tournaments at Melbourne Park in a late-career resurgence and on this form will be hard to stop from extending his all-time record with a 21st major victory.
Federer, Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson have all won six Australian Opens – although the Australian great's victories all came before the Open era.
Tsitsipas eyes up Federer after rollicking victory
Fiery Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas was looking forward to a last-16 clash with Roger Federer after overcoming a mini-meltdown to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 at the Australian Open Friday.
"It will be amazing playing Roger on Rod Laver," said Tsitsipas of the Swiss great.
The 14th seed, touted among the new generation of young stars as a future champion, came through the third round after being docked his first serve for exceeding the shot clock at a crucial moment while facing a break point in the third set.
The powerful Georgian Basilashvili, seeded 19, took advantage on the second delivery to break back causing Tsitsipas to unload a verbal tirade in the direction of his coaching team in his player box.
French umpire Alexandre Robein clearly understood enough of Greek and English vernacular to slap the 20-year-old with a code violation for an audible obscenity.
But backed by a raucous Greek contingent in a rowdy atmosphere on Margaret Court Arena, he recovered his composure to win the set in a tense tiebreak.
He cruised through the fourth set to become the first Greek man to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam twice, after reaching the same stage at Wimbledon last year.
"It's good to have such support and exciting to have an atmosphere like this," said Tsitsipas.
"I feel like I'm playing at home, I never had so many Greek – and Aussie – people support me."
Updated Date: Jan 18, 2019 10:43:34 IST