Published: Thursday January 17, 2013 MYT 6:43:00 PM
Federer sets up Tomic showdown with easy win
MELBOURNE: Roger Federer tossed aside old rival Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets to set up a third round showdown with brash young Australian Bernard Tomic at the Australian Open on Thursday.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion had few problems with the quirky, 40th-ranked Russian, winning 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in 1hr 59min in a night match on Rod Laver Arena.
The win set up what should be the first tournament highlight on Saturday, in an intriguing match-up between the four-time Australian Open champion and the confident, 20-year-old Tomic.
"It's a similar situation to last year, it's just a round earlier, I guess," Federer said, referring to last year's straight-sets win over Tomic in the fourth round.
"It's nice to see Bernard playing better again, he had a rough end to the season last year, so he's had a wonderful start this year and I hope he can keep it and get back to a big ranking."
Federer stretched his record over Davydenko to 18-2 with a dominant performance containing three service breaks from 13 break point opportunities.
Federer made more unforced errors in his latest match, 42 to his 35 winners, but he was always in command of the Russian, whose last win against the 31-year-old Swiss legend was three years ago at Doha.
The world number two is on a run of 34 straight Grand Slam quarter-finals and is on course to face defending champion Novak Djokovic in the final next week.
Federer is bidding to become only the second man in the history of the Australian Open to win the title a fifth time, following Australian Roy Emerson's six victories in the 1960s.
Federer soon had Davydenko under pressure, breaking the Russian's service in the sixth game, and he cruised to the opening set in 42 minutes.
He followed up with a service break in Davydenko's opening service game to take the second set in a similar time and broke him again in the first game of the final set to steam home.-AFP