Federer eases into last eight
Originally published on 22/01/18 00:00
The defending champion was not at his fluid best, but he improved as the match progressed and did not encounter a break-point on serve as he reached the quarter-finals for a record 14th time.
The Swiss will challenge Tomas Berdych in the last eight on Wednesday. The Czech, fit and healthy again after his 2017 campaign ended prematurely, brushed past Fabio Fognini a 6-1 6-4 6-4.
Federer and Berdych are familiar foes, and the Swiss leads the head to head count 19-6 – and has won their last eight meetings.
After his first match in the day session, Federer paid tribute to his opponent, who had never registered a victory at Grand Slam level prior to last Monday
“He (Fucsovics) played very well,” said the 19-time major winner. “It’s fast conditions and you’ve got to have quick ideas and execute well, and I thought he did that very well.
“Being two sets down is never easy and you might start making some mistakes eventually, but he played clean and solid. A bit of everything: serving, volleying and chipping. It was nice to see.”
Federer had been sharp and alert in the first three rounds, but he started his last sixteen contest slowly. It took him a while to adjust to the lively afternoon conditions.
Fucsovics is a good all-rounder and he stayed with his illustrious opponent in the first set. He was very much involved, however he was broken for the first time when he attempted to prolong the opener.
Federer may not have been in devastating form from the baseline, but his trusty serve was as reliable as ever. At one stage, he won 21 points in a row behind his delivery.
The Hungarian did well to force a second set tiebreak, but Federer quashed any hopes of the match becoming close. An overhead smash moved the Swiss a step closer to the next stage.
Fucsovics' chances of causing the upset had all but disappeared, and he was unable to prevent or delay his opponent from completing the job in straight sets.