Federer show rolls into fourth round at Open

MIKE HEDGE
Last updated 17:49 18/01/2014

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Roger Federer has reached the fourth round of the Australian Open for the 13th straight year with a performance that suggested the sixth seed is far from a spent force.

Federer beat Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia 6-2 6-3 6-3, setting up a round-of-16 clash with either Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Gilles Simon.

The one-time king of the game who held the top spot in world rankings for longer than any other player, Federer has won a record 17 grand slam finals.

But he hasn't claimed a major in his past five attempts and is keener than ever to collect one more.

"It's been a while, but I'm happy with how I'm playing, how I'm feeling," Federer said.

His defeat of Gabashvili was Federer's 71st at the Australian Open, just one of the dozens of records established by the Swiss champion.

Federer came to this year's Open after a season hampered by a back injury and with a new racquet.

After his third-round win, he declared the back to be healed and the racquet behaving.

"I'm just happy to be waking up in the morning and not feeling like an old man," he said.

"I have confidence in my movement and confidence in my body."

Also into the fourth round is 119th-ranked Frenchman Stephane Robert, who came through a battle of the lucky losers to record the biggest win in his 12 years on the circuit.

Robert beat Slovakia's Martin Klizan 6-0 7-6 (7-2) 6-4.

Both players were beaten in the Open qualifying tournament but made the field as lucky losers when other players withdrew with injuries.

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