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Federer cruises into Australian Open quarter-finals

MELBOURNE  (AFP) – Roger Federer thwarted a powerful serving performance from Milos Raonic to advance to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Monday.

Raonic was serving in excess of 230 kilometres (143 miles) per hour but Federer made enough inroads to post a 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 win in 1hr 53min and reach his 35th consecutive appearance in the last eight of a major.

Federer, 30, the holder of 17 major championships, moved into a showdown against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who defeated countryman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 earlier on Monday.

Federer broke Raonic’s serve in the 10th game to sneak through a tight opening set in 33 minutes.

Raonic’s serve held firm in the second set, as did Federer’s, as they moved into a tiebreaker.

A running, down-the-line backhand passing shot from Federer gave him the mini-break of serve in the tiebreaker and he closed it out without fuss.

Raonic dropped his first two service games of the third set and Federer ran through the set in 35 minutes. The number two seed has negotiated his first four rounds at Melbourne Park without losing his serve.

“I have good reflexes,” Federer said of nullify Raonic’s serve. “You try to anticipate a bit, and it happened better and better as the match went on.

“It’s important to stay focused. I have learned that over the years, and it pays off in the end.”

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