Another milestone victory for Roger Federer. Where have we heard that before? On Saturday, the Swiss added to his Australian Open legacy, notching an unprecedented 90th match win with a straight-set triumph over Richard Gasquet.
The defending champion's success Down Under is unrivaled. For the 16th time in his career, Federer will make an appearance in the Round of 16 at Melbourne Park. In fact, the The World No. 2 has not dropped a set through the first three rounds for the first time since 2014.
Federer's love affair with the Australian Open began nearly two decades ago, when a precocious 18-year-old with a dazzling one-handed backhand stepped on Rod Laver Arena for the first time. It was the year 2000 and the Basel native would go on to amass a glittering resume, rarely putting a wrong foot in 19 consecutive appearances.
With so many memorable wins and epic matches, what are Federer's fondest memories at Melbourne Park? Needless to say, the 36-year-old has plenty to choose from.
First match win on debut against Michael Chang
"My first round here in 2000 against Michael Chang was cool," said Federer following his victory on Saturday. "Clearly it was my first win here."
Clinching World No. 1 for the first time
"[In 2004], the semi-final match against Ferrero and a couple days later winning my first Australian Open against Safin. Securing World No. 1 the following Monday, was big for me."
The 13 five-setters
"I had a lot of five-setters, too. Never really had a bad tournament, to be honest. Even in the year I lost to Seppi, I thought I was actually playing alright. Even the Safin match I ended up losing in 2005 was epic."
Two epic finals vs. Rafa
"Of course, the two finals with Rafa here in 2009, which was the best we ever played against each other, I believe, then last year's."
Winning his first major as a father
"2010 also, I think it was my first major with the girls. That was nice."
Federer is now one win from matching his Wimbledon mark of 91 victories. He will face one of the breakout stars of the first week in World No. 80 Marton Fucsovics. It will be their first encounter and remarkably just Federer's second against a Hungarian opponent in his career. His first? A straight-set win over Fucsovics' coach Attila Savolt at the 2002 Australian Open.
"I'm very happy that I was able to rise to a level that I needed to beat Richard," Federer said, assessing his third-round win. "It was tough. The score shows it, as well. 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 think I had some good shots. I was happy the way I played. I also thought we both played a good level again, so it was fun."
Victory over Fucsovics would put Federer in his 14th quarter-final at Melbourne Park, where he owns a perfect 13-0 record. It won't be long before the Swiss needs a Top 10 list for his Aussie Open memories. . read full article