|Australian Open 2019|
|Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 14-27 January|
|Coverage: Daily live commentaries on the BBC Sport website, listen to Tennis Breakfast daily from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and watch highlights on BBC TV and online from 19 January.|
Roger Federer delivered a serving masterclass to sweep aside American Taylor Fritz and reach the Australian Open fourth round.
The defending champion won 6-2 7-5 6-2 under the roof on Rod Laver Arena at a rainy Melbourne Park.
The Swiss third seed, 37, is aiming to become the first man to win seven Australian Open titles.
Next up for him is Greek 14th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3 3-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-4.
Joining Federer in the next round is Czech former semi-finalist Tomas Berdych, who knocked out Argentine 16th seed Diego Schwartzman 5-7 6-3 7-5 6-4.
Unseeded Berdych, who beat Britain’s Kyle Edmund in the first round and has found his form after an injury-hit 2018, will play the winner of Friday’s match between world number two Rafael Nadal and Australian Alex de Minaur.
- Nadal sees off Australian hope De Minaur
- Sharapova knocks out champion Wozniacki
- Teenager Anisimova beats seed Sabalenka
Federer serves up victory in style
The Swiss was in a ruthless mood from the start, breaking Fritz’s second and third service games on his way to a 5-1 lead.
But it was on his own serve where the 20-time Grand Slam champion dominated, with Fritz taking just two points on the Federer serve in the first set.
He sealed the set with an ace with just 20 minutes on the clock and carried on where he left off in the second with back-to-back holds to love.
But the 21-year-old American began to apply a bit more pressure on Federer’s serve midway through the second, taking him to deuce in the eighth game before losing his own serve three games later.
From there Federer served for the set, once again wrapping it up with an ace – the eighth of his 10.
Back-to-back breaks in the third sealed the fate of Fritz, who had shown glimpses of a promising future with his shot-making as well as an ability to laugh at himself when he fluffed an easy smash.
“I wanted to get out the blocks quickly as I knew of the threat and his possibilities on the serve,” said Federer, who was playing his 100th match on the Rod Laver Arena.
“The second set was tough. There were a few chances but he protected his serve well and it was close. We had some good points and it was fun. I wish him all the best for the future.”
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Cilic scrapes through into last 16
Sixth seed Marin Cilic saved two match points on his way to a five-set victory over 2009 semi-finalist Fernando Verdasco.
The Croat, beaten in last year’s final by Roger Federer, fought back from two sets down to win 4-6 3-6 6-1 7-6 (10-8) 6-3 in a match that lasted four hours 18 minutes and finished at 12.57am local time.
In the fourth set tiebreak Cilic saved one match point with a huge serve into the corner before Verdasco double faulted on the second match point, hitting the net cord with his second serve.
“It was definitely a tough tiebreak,” said Cilic. “It came down to one shot, or basically one decision. I was a little bit lucky on that net cord. I was just slightly luckier in those crucial moments.
“It was definitely a tough match, unbelievable.”
Murray conqueror Bautista Agut into another Grand Slam last 16
Cilic will next play Roberto Bautista Agut, who beat Andy Murray in the first round in what may have been the Briton’s final match.
The Spaniard, seeded 22nd, knocked out 10th seed Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-4 7-5 6-4.
It is the fourth time Bautista Agut has made the fourth round of the Australian Open, but he has never made it past the last 16 in a Grand Slam, losing at that stage on 10 occasions.
Elsewhere, 2017 semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov also won, with the Bulgarian beating Italian Thomas Fabbiano 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-4.
Up next for Dimitrov is 20-year-old American Frances Tiafoe, who will be playing in the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career.
Tiafoe eliminated fifth seed Kevin Anderson on Wednesday in round two and fought back from two sets to one down on Friday to defeat Italy’s Andreas Seppi 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-3.