Defending champion Roger Federer beat Taylor Fritz 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 in the third round of the Australian Open on Friday.
The 37-year-old Swiss needed just 88 minutes to win his 100th career match at the Rod Laver Arena and extend his Open-era record for the most appearances in the fourth round of a Grand Slam to 63.
‘Taylor played really well,’ said Federer of his 21-year-old American opponent. ‘The first serve dropped up at times, but you can see the upside. He is going to have many more years on tour playing at this level. It is pretty cool to watch him play.’
Federer, who is chasing a record-equalling seventh Australian Open title – and 21st Grand Slam title overall – will next face Greek 14th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-4.
‘It will be amazing playing Roger on Rod Laver,’ said Tsitsipas of the Swiss great.
In the third competitive match of his comeback, Rafael Nadal beat 19-year-old Australian Alex de Minaur 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to set up a last-16 clash with unseeded Czech Tomas Berdych.
Nadal romped to victory in two hours and 22 minutes, with De Minaur managing to save six match points before finally capitulating.
Meanwhile, in the women’s singles, defending champion Caroline Wozniacki suffered a shock 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 defeat to arch-rival Maria Sharapova.
The Dane refused to blame the loss on her rheumatoid arthritis, saying she felt fine on court.
Sharapova will face Australian Ashleigh Barty in the next round.
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