Melbourne, Jan 25(ANI): Top seed Roger Federer marched into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with a resounding 6-2 6-3 6-4 victory over Lleyton Hewitt in Melbourne.
With the win, the worst-ever Australian Open defeat for Hewitt, the 15-time Grand Slam champion moved majestically into his 23rd successive grand slam quarterfinal.
Talking about the victory, Federer said he never expected to put away his long-time rival and former doubles partner in such routine fashion.
"He's a champion and you're always going to go through some tough moments against him. I have gone on an incredible run against him the last few times we have played, but you're not going to go through an easy match with him," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Federer, as saying.
"When I already saw the draw and I saw Lleyton floating around, it's not something I like seeing. He did great to come through in his section so I knew it was going to be extremely hard tonight - I'm sweating buckets," he added.
He further admitted to nerves when Hewitt struck back late in the third set.
"We've had some great battles, one of them here that ended in tears for me.He's playing well again and I hope he can keep it up," Federer said.
"The crowd starts getting into it, sensing this is his chance, and you start doubting yourself - and that's what happened. If he gets back into the match, you never know what's going to happen. I've lost a match like that before here," he added.
Federer will now face Nikolay Davydenko, who fought off Fernando Verdasco in five dramatic sets.
The Russian had to withstand a stern second-half fightback from the sixth seed to clinch a 6-2 7-5 4-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena. (ANI)