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Classy Federer destroys Raonic

ESPN staff
January 21, 2013 « Murray crushes weary Simon | Chartbeat test »
Roger Federer dominated Milos Raonic © AP
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Roger Federer produced a masterful display to nullify the threat of big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic and advance to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

Raonic powered down 19 aces, with the ball flying by in a blur at times, but Federer remained patient - served superbly himself - and broke at crucial moments to secure a 6-4 7-6(4) 6-2 win.

The threat from Raonic was clear from the start as he sent down booming serves, but Federer matched him on his own serve and did not face a single break point in the match. Federer worked break points in the sixth game of the opening set, but Raonic fended off all three courtesy of some huge serving. But for all the quality of the big serve, Raonic coughed up a double fault to hand Federer a set point. It was a point Raonic bossed, but the set went away when he dumped a backhand volley into the net.

Both were rock solid on serve in the second set and it was evident from early on that it would go to a breaker. Raonic's ace count mounted, but Federer got a return in play on the seventh point and pounced on a short approach from his opponent to fire a backhand down the line for a vital minibreak.

Federer had been supreme on serve, but he did not need to serve out for the second set as he produced a brilliant forehand passing shot to wrap up the breaker.

As in his match against Bernard Tomic, after being pushed hard for two sets Federer secured an immediate cushion at the start of the third when breaking to love.

The early break seemed to sap the life out of Raonic as a second break followed and it allowed Federer to turn on the style as at one stage he produced an audacious drop shot from a Raonic serve.

Raonic fended off a third break of the set but Federer served out to wrap up the contest in under two hours.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open in 2010, is up next for Federer following his four-set win over fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet.

Gasquet briefly threatened an upset when taking the second set, but the No. 7 seed secured a 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-2 win.

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