By Greg Stutchbury
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Four-times champion Roger Federer was in no mood to extend his Sunday too far into Monday as he raced into his 47th grand slam quarter-final with a 6-2 6-1 6-4 Australian Open fourth round victory over David Goffin.
Federer was the last match on the main showcourt in Rod Laver Arena on Sunday but because of an earlier lengthy five-set clash between Novak Djokovic and Gilles Simon, he did not begin his fourth round match with Goffin until 2248 local (1148 GMT).
Federer said he was not surprised at the troubles the world number one faced against Simon and why it took a full four hours and 32 minutes to subdue the stubborn Frenchman.
“He (Simon) plays every match like that. He makes you miss. He makes you go for the lines and he runs down a lot of balls,” Federer told reporters. “A lot of points end in errors.
“He knows exactly what he’s doing out there, and it worked almost to the very end.
“So it was very close for Novak and he knows that.”
Federer, however, was not prepared to allow the 25-year-old Goffin, who anchored his country to last year’s Davis Cup final against Britain, such leeway when they began their match.
The Swiss established the tone in the first set and had the Belgian on a string, forcing him deep behind the baseline and moving him around court to open it up where he could hit winners.
The 17-times grand slam champion roared through the first set in 21 minutes as he conceded just two points on his own serve and broke the Belgian twice.
He continued to dominate on his own serve, winning more than 90 percent of his first service points for much of the match before it dropped off in the final few games, though he was still able to seal victory in just 88 minutes.
“I was surprised it went as fast as it did,” Federer added.
“It was important to keep the momentum going, keep staying aggressive and, you know, trying to get the match done in three. I was able to do that.”
Federer will now play sixth-seed Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals and he thought the Czech would like the court.
“I have to play well. I think the court suits him,” Federer said. “I think this sort of flatter bounce and faster court is good for his serves, good for his returns.
“This court pays off when you do play good and aggressive tennis.”
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Alan Baldwin)