Posted by Sabrina B. @gametimegirl
Defending championÂ Roger Federer added another record to his vast collection Sunday at the Australian Open, matching Jimmy Connors’ mark for consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals appearances with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory overÂ Tommy Robredo.
Federer has reached the quarterfinals in 27 consecutive majors since his third-round loss in the 2004 French Open, equaling Connors’ Open-era record.
The 16-time Grand Slam winner didn’t concede a point on his serve in the first set, but had a lapse in the second when Robredo’s serve was dominant and he took a set off Federer for only the third time in 10 matches.
“I was struggling with my return — I couldn’t get the balls into play I wanted to,” Federer said. “I didn’t have the best of games at 4-3 down — we don’t have much margin at the very top and it shows.”
Federer regained control in the third set and dominated after getting an early break to lead 2-0.
“It’s a lot of hard work. I’m sweating bullets right now,” he said. “I’m excited to be in the next round.”
He admitted he’d had a tough first week, including a five-set win overÂ Gilles Simon.
“I’m in another quarterfinal. Got all the chances to make it to the semis again,” Federer said, “so I’m very pleased.”
Federer, aiming to be only the second man to win five Australian Open titles, will play eitherÂ Andy Roddick or 19th-seededÂ Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in the quarterfinals. Roddick and Wawrinka play their fourth-round match Sunday night.
No. 3-rankedÂ Novak Djokovic is aiming for his second Australian crown. The 2008 champion advanced to the quarterfinals for the 13th time in the last 15 majors with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 win over No. 14Â Nicolas Almagro and will next play 2010 Wimbledon finalistÂ Tomas Berdych, who beatÂ Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.