World number 2 and defending Australian Open champion Roger Federer booked his place in the last 16 for the 16th time here in Melbourne following a commanding 6-2 7-5 6-4 win over Richard Gasquet in an hour and 55 minutes.
This was the 90th win for the five-time winner at Melbourne Park and he will now face Hungarian Marton Fucsovics, who achieved his career-best result with this 4th round appearance on his Australian Open debut. Roger was the clear favorite before the match and he proved that on the court, beating Richard for the 17th time in 19 encounters and for the 9th time in succession.
Federer struggled a little bit on his second serve but he faced just 2 break points, losing serve once in the final set to keep the Frenchman in contention for a little bit longer than he intended. Still, Gasquet got broken 5 times, including the last game of the match, and he couldn't score a better result despite a good resistance in the second and third set.
Roger hit 12 aces and his first serve worked fine, delivering 42 winners and defending his backhand nicely to endure the rallies with his opponent who fired some big forehands to find an open space and stay in touch with Roger after the opening set.
Roger fired up his engines right from the start, serving well and breaking Gasquet's serve in games 4 and 8 for a one-sided 6-2 result in less than half an hour. Richard raised his level and he was toe to toe with a great rival in the first 11 games of set number 2, holding with ease and placing more winners than Roger, in the only way he could stay competitive on the court.
Still, Swiss found the way to steal the set with a late break in game 12, and he was now the huge favorite to bring the match home in straight sets. With the momentum on his side, Federer continued to charge and he won 13 out of the first 17 points of set number 3 top open a 3-0 lead, and it seemed that the match will soon be over.
Nonetheless, he played a loose service game to get broken for the very first time in game 7, missing 3 game points before Richard scored a break that pushed him back on the scoreboard. The Frenchman had a chance to level the score at 5-5 but Roger cracked some big backhands to break him for the 5th time and cross the finish line to advance into the last 16.
Third round result: