Sat, Jan 23, 2016 - Page 20 News List

Federer wins 300th Grand Slam match

AP, MELBOURNE, Australia

Roger Federer plays a forehand during his Australian Open match against Grigor Dimitrov in Melbourne yesterday.

Photo: EPA

Roger Federer was already a long way clear at the top of the list of men with the most wins in Grand Slam singles matches, so becoming the first to 300 was not a major distraction.

He reached the milestone at Rod Laver Arena yesterday, when he moved into the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Grigor Dimitrov.

“It’s very exciting, I must tell you,” Federer said of his latest record, adding that reaching 1,000 wins in tour matches last year was also a cause for celebration. “It was a big deal for me. Not something I ever aimed for or looked for, but when it happens, it’s very special.”

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic had a match starting at the same time on a nearby court.

Djokovic — the defending Australian Open champion — took 25 minutes to win the first set against 28th-seeded Andreas Seppi, but needed almost an hour in the next two, saving two set points in the tiebreaker before winning 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (8/6) on Margaret Court Arena.

Djokovic has won five Australian titles and his victory maintained a streak of reaching at least the fourth round at every major since the 2009 French Open.

He said he was particularly wary of a third-rounder against Seppi, who beat four-time champion Federer at the same stage last year.

Seppi “is not overwhelmed by the occasion of the big courts, he knows how to play the big stage. He beat Federer last year here in the Australian Open, so he knows how to play big matches,” Djokovic said. “He’s very dangerous. I’m just glad to get through in straight sets.”

Kei Nishikori had a 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over 26th-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and faces 2008 Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat fellow Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/4).

No. 15 David Goffin beat No. 19 Dominic Thiem 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7/2), 7-5 — his first win against a top-20 player at a Grand Slam. He faces a tougher proposition next: Federer.

Also, Gilles Simon of France defeated Argentina’s Federico Delbonis 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.

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