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Page last updated at 15:44 GMT, Sunday, 25 January 2009

Federer survives five-set scare

AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Venue: Melbourne Park Date: 19 January-1 February
Coverage: BBC Red Button, BBC One & Two (including all Andy Murray matches), Radio 5 Live sports extra, BBC Sport website (Red Button coverage streamed on website throughout fortnight)


Roger Federer
Federer screamed with relief as he won the match with an ace

Second seed Roger Federer narrowly survived a scare at the hands of Tomas Berdych to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Sunday.

Federer dropped the first two sets against the 20th seed, but fought back to win 4-6 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 6-2.

The Czech 23-year-old's forehand packed less punch as the match continued, and Federer gradually assert his authority.

Reigning champion Novak Djokovic beat Marcos Baghadatis 6-1 7-6 (7-1) 6-7 6-2 in a match which finished at 0230.

The Serb raced through the opening set in 25 minutes then fought back from a break down to win the second on a tiebreak.

Baghdatis, a Melbourne finalist in 2006, won the third in a tiebreak but twice failed to hold his own serve in the fourth set as Djokovic finally sealed victory.

He next faces Andy Roddick for a place in the semi-finals, while Federer takes Juan Martin del Potro after the Argentine battled past Croatian 19th seed Marin Cilic 5-7 6-4 6-4 6-2.

I enjoy those kind of fights because it doesn't happen very often

Roger Federer

Andy Roddick beat Spain's Tommy Robredo 7-5 6-1 6-3 and will next meet either Novak Djokovic or Marcos Baghdatis.

"I enjoy those kind of fights because it doesn't happen very often, I've had maybe five or six in my life," said a relieved Federer after finally removing Berdych with an ace to win the fifth set.

"You've got to hang in there, there's no other solution. I tried to weather the storm. He was hitting the ball so heavy and so hard, he pushed me to the limit.

"It's always special to come back from 2-0. It's nice for me and I hope it's a good omen."

Berdych had quickly exposed an out-of-sorts Federer, breaking serve in the very first game of the match.

Federer's woeful forehand gifted his opponent a second break and, though he subsequently broke back, Berdych served out to love to wrap up the first set.

At 5-5 in the second set Federer's luck appeared to change when he survived two break points, but Berdych's booming forehand both earned and won him a tie-break.

The Melbourne crowd gasped as Berdych assumed a two-set lead, but Federer improved substantially in the third set - it could hardly have deteriorated.

For the first time, Berdych began to exhibit nerves, hopelessly mis-timing a simple smash to hand the seventh game of the set, and a break, to his opponent.

The second seed held his serve to take the third set and, with Berdych rattled by a failure of the Hawkeye system, Federer began to resemble his usual, dominant self in the fourth.

The Swiss star screamed with delight as he took the game to a fifth set, which turned into little more than a formality as Berdych's leg and spirit buckled on the Rod Laver Arena.

Del Potro recovered from a set down to grind out an attritional win in hot conditions, taking three hours to defeat Cilic.

"It's very tough to play in these conditions but I'm glad I managed to come back and beat him," said the Argentine.

At the age of 20, he becomes the youngest quarter-finalist since Richard Krajicek in 1992.

After battling out a tight first set, Roddick blew away Spanish opponent Robredo in the second and third.

The American has dropped only one set on his way to the last eight, and he blasted 13 aces as he kept Robredo on the back foot throughout the match.



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see also
Aussie Open day seven quotes
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Aussie Open photos
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Superb Bartoli dumps out Jankovic
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Murray aims to out-think Verdasco
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Order of play
19 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
07 Jan 09 |  Tennis


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