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Federer, Murray Book Quarterfinal Slots

Roger Federer reached his 35th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal with a straight set win over Milos Raonic. Andy Murray also advanced.

By Chris Oddo

Roger Federer Australian Open 2013 (January 21, 2013) -- Roger Federer reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for a record 35th consecutive time with his 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-2 victory over 13th-seeded Milos Raonic on day 8.

Federer put on a brilliant serving display against the 22-year-old, losing only 12 points on serve over the course of the one hour and fifty-three minute affair.

He did not face a break point on the evening, nor was he ever challenged while serving, and his dominance at the service stripe made it much easier for the 17-time Grand Slam champion to deal with Raonic's world-class serve.

Raonic hit 19 aces in the match, and topped out at a stunning 144 mph, but his serving dominance only allowed him to keep the match close.

"You try to win every match as quickly as you can," said Federer, who now owns a 4-0 career record against Raonic. "Important obviously was first to focus on my own serve before even thinking about how to return Milos's."

Federer earned his first break of the evening with a little help from the Canadian. At set point in the tenth game of the first set, Raonic muffed an easy volley into the net to give Federer the early lead.

Raonic didn't drop his serve in the second set, but the rallies went decidedly in favor of Federer throughout, and even though the match hung in the balance as the pair headed into a second set tiebreaker, there was a lingering feeling that Raonic was being outclassed by Federer despite the scoreline.

Federer took the tiebreaker, and downshifted in the third, cruising downhill to the finish line and setting his sights on a quarterfinal clash with Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Tsonga defeated compatriot Richard Gasquet, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. The Frenchman, playing at the site of his only career Grand Slam final in 2008, is contesting his first Grand Slam since striking up a relationship with coach Roger Rasheed.

Tsonga credited the Aussie for breathing new life into him. "Every day when I come to the practice, he's giving me a lot of energy just by his talk and it's great," the 27-year-old told reporters.

Tsonga is no stranger to dealing with Roger Federer. He notched one of his biggest career victories when he came back from two sets down against Federer in the 2011 Wimbledon quarterfinal. In total, Tsonga owns a 3-8 record against the Swiss. "I've got a lot of respect for him," said Tsonga. "He's just an incredible tennis player."

Andy Murray also moved through to the quarterfinals on Monday in Melbourne, notching a breezy 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 win over Gilles Simon on Hisense. Simon, who suffered physically in his third-round marathon against Gael Monfils, seemed to have very little left for Murray.

Murray said he's not concerned about the lack of a challenge from Simon as he heads into the quarterfinals. "He [Simon] got tested very hard in his last round and couldn't compete today," said Murray. "You can look at it both ways."

Murray is a perfect 8-0 for 2013, and has yet to drop a set in Melbourne. He'll face Jeremy Chardy in the quarterfinals. Chardy defeated Andreas Seppi, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, to reach his first career Grand Slam quarterfinal

Murray owns a 4-1 record against the Frenchman, but Chardy notched a career win last summer in Cincinnati when he defeated Murray in straight sets.

The pair haven't met since.

"I hope it motivates me more," said Murray when asked about the loss to Chardy after the match. "I hope I can play a better match from my side."

(Photo Credit: Mark Peterson/ Corleve)


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