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Roger Federer Beats Richard Gasquet At Australian Open 2018 By Ricky Dimon • Plus 10sBalls Photo Gallery

Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts after winning his third round match against Richard Gasquet of France at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 20 January 2018. EPA-EFE/TRACEY NEARMY

 

 

Federer remains in fine form with straight-set win over Gasquet at Australian Open

 

Sending yet another message that he is not satisfied with “only” 19 Grand Slam titles, Federer turned in another stellar performance to beat Richard Gasquet 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 on Saturday night during third-round action at the Australian Open. The defending champion got the job done in one hour and 59 minutes, his third straight win of the fortnight that required less than two hours.

 

“It was tough,” Federer said. “The score shows it.”

 

That’s right; the 36-year-old’s standards are still so high that a 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 scoreline is considered “tough.”

 

This one, though, actually was.

 

Despite the fact that it lasted just three sets, Gasquet gave an impressive account of himself against an opponent who was sporting a 16-2 lifetime record at his expense. Although he was an obvious heavy underdog, the Frenchman did not let that deter his effort. He produced 27 winners compared to only 16 unforced errors, a ratio likely good enough to beat most players in the tournament–but not Federer, who countered with 42 winners, 30 unforced errors, 12 aces, one double-fault, and 80 percent of his first-serve points won.

 

“I was hoping I could play at that level,” the world No. 2 said. “I’m very happy that I was able to rise to a level that I needed to beat Richard. I could have done it maybe a bit faster. At the same time I’m happy to have done it the way it happened. I was pleased; I was happy the way I played. I also thought Richard…we both played a good level again, so it was fun.”

 

“I could have done it a bit faster” refers to Federer’s 3-0 lead in the third set, which he temporarily gave away. Having not faced a single break point all night, Federer saw Gasquet break for the first time in the seventh game of the set to get back on serve at 3-4. The world No. 31 remained on level terms until he served while trying to stay in the match at 4-5. That’s when Federer struck one last time, breaking serve in a game that went to three deuces. He capitalized on his second match point with an exquisite backhand pass, aided by a net cord on the previous shot that forced Gasquet into vulnerable volley.

 

“I got so lucky,” the second seed said during his on-court interview.

 

It’s fine to be lucky, but it’s even better to be good. Federer has been a lot more lucky than good so far in Melbourne, just as he was last year…and the year before that…and the year before that….He’s playing like it might never end. At the very least, he’s playing like he wants No. 20.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

 

Richard Gasquet of France in action during his third round match against Roger Federer of Switzerland at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 20 January 2018. EPA-EFE/MAST IRHAM

 

Mirka Federer (C), wife of Roger Federer of Switzerland, watches the men’s third round match between Richard Gasquet of France and Federer at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 20 January 2018. EPA-EFE/MAST IRHAM

 

Roger Federer of Switzerland in action during his third round match against Richard Gasquet of France at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 20 January 2018. EPA-EFE/MAST IRHAM

 

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after winning his third round match against Richard Gasquet of France at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 20 January 2018. EPA-EFE/TRACEY NEARMY

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