Four-time champion Roger Federer and two-time runner-up Andy Murray were a pair of fourth-round winners Monday at the Australian Open. The amazing Federer will appear in his 35th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal on Wednesday.
The second-seeded former world No. 1 Federer, who has yet to drop a set through four matches, got past 13th-seeded Canadian slugger Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, while the third-seeded Murray, who has also won 12 straight sets here, whipped 14th-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 at Melbourne Park. The reigning U.S. Open and Olympic champion Murray will now play in his fourth straight Aussie quarter.
Federer struck 14 aces, while Raonic swatted 19 in a losing effort. The super Swiss broke Raonic on three occasions, while the Canadian loser, who piled up 41 unforced errors compared to only 12 by the winner, was unable to break the 17-time Grand Slam king and reigning Wimbledon winner on Monday.
The 22-year-old Raonic missed out on another chance to become the first Canadian man to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal in the Open Era.
Meanwhile, Murray drilled 12 aces and broke Simon a whopping 12 times en route to another Aussie quarter.
"After the first few games, I mean, it didn't feel like that competitive," Murray said. "Sort of at this stage of a Grand Slam you're sort of gee'd up and prepared for a tough battle. That's why it becomes hard because the emotions aren't quite into it."
Simon said facing Murray was "a painful hour and a half on the court."
"It is difficult when you run a marathon two days before to run another one two days after," Simon said.
Federer's quarterfinal opponent will be seventh-seeded 2008 Aussie Open runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while Murray will encounter capable Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who stunned former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro on Saturday. Federer is 8-3 lifetime against Tsonga, including a win in an Aussie semifinal in 2010.
"You try to win every match you can as quick as you can, saving energy in the process," Federer said. "At least you have a day in between, that's big."
Tsonga handled ninth-seeded fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to reach his fourth Aussie Open quarterfinal, while Chardy landed in his first career Grand Slam quarter by taking out 21st-seeded Italian Andreas Seppi 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 on Day 8 of the fortnight. The 25-year-old Chardy has already beaten three seeds en route to the round of eight.
The Tsonga-Gasquet match marked the first time in the Open Era that two Frenchmen ranked in the top 10 have played each other at a Grand Slam event.
The other quarterfinal matchups will pit world No. 1 Novak Djokovic against fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych and fourth-seeded David Ferrer versus 10th-seeded fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro on Tuesday.
Djokovic has won three of the last five Aussie Open titles, including the last two. The five-time Grand Slam champion beat Rafael Nadal in last year's Melbourne finale, which was the longest-ever final in Grand Slam history, and is trying top become the first men's three-peat Aussie champ in the Open Era.