(January 22, 2016) Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova reached milestones on Friday at the Australian Open. Federer became the first male player to post 300 wins in majors with his 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over 27th seed Grigor Dimitrov. The four-time Australian Open champion trails Martina Navratilova who leads overall with 306 victories at majors.
“It’s very exciting, I must tell you,” Federer said. “Like when I reached 1,000 last year, it was a big deal for me. Not something I ever aimed for or looked for, but when it happens, it’s very special. Yeah, you look deeper into it, I guess, where it’s all happened and how. Yeah, so it’s very nice. I’m very happy.”
The Swiss who currently sits at No. 3 in the world is now 5-0 against the Bulgarian Dimitrov. Federer hit 48 winners against Dimitrov.
Federer faces No. 15 David Goffin for a spot in the quarterfinals.
No. 5 and 2008 Melbourne champion Maria Sharapova became just the seventh woman in the Open Era to post 600 match-wins when she held off American Lauren Davis 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-0 in a third round match.
“Wow. I’ve won 600 matches?” Sharapova asked, in her on-court interview. “Is this like a friendly reminder that I’m getting old?”
She told media: “I think it’s a proud number. I’ve played for many years. I don’t think about those numbers until I finish the match and someone does mention it. I think it’s a good fact that I’ve been able to win that many matches.”
The Russian was up a set and a break when the American began to turn the match around.
“I felt like I made it a little bit more difficult than I should have,” said the five-time major champion. “I definitely had a letup at 2-1, 30-Love. You know, felt like I was hitting the ball well, doing the right things to get in that position, then let up. In a Grand Slam environment against anyone you can’t expect to get away with it, and I didn’t in the second set.
“But overall really happy with how I came out in the third and stepped up, considering it’s been, you know, many weeks since I’ve been in that position. So I was happy with the way I finished.”
Sharapova will take on No. 12 Belinda Bencic in the fourth round. The Swiss defeated Kateryna Bondarenko 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska had a competitive first set and then dominated the second set to take down Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig 6-4, 6-0. The woman from Poland has reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open for the sixth straight year.
Radwanska will take on Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany next, who upset 13th seed Roberta Vinci 0-6, 6-4, 6-4. Vinci ended Serena Williams’ bid for a calendar Grand Slam when she defeated the world No. 1 in the semifinals of the U.S. Open.
On the men’s side, seventh seed Kei Nishikori had to take a medical time out for his wrist, but reached the fourth round at the Australian Open with a 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 26 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
“It was little bit sore in the beginning, but after the treatment it was fine,” Nishikori said. “I’m sure it’s going to be okay. Yeah, it was a really tough match. There was many long rallies.
“I have to give a lot of credit to him, because he was hitting really hard. I thought he was going to hit more spin, but he was hitting a lot of flat balls and it was going in.
“So it was, you know, tough to play. But I start playing much better in the third and fourth. I tried to dictate little more, tried to step in and use more forehands, and I think I able to come in many times today.”
The 2014 U.S. Open finalist will play the 2008 Australian Open finalist – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat fellow Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (4).
Tsonga says that he expects a tough battle from Nishikori as always.
“Every time we played, it was a good fight,” Tsonga said. “We have a different style. Anyway, yeah, it’s going to be good I think – for spectator, for sure. For us, we’ll see.”
No. 15 David Goffin beat No. 19 Dominic Thiem 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5 for his first victory against a Top 20 player at a major.
More to follow…