Australian Open: Roger Federer eases past Tomas Berdych in third round

Roger Federer
Roger Federer has played only three matches since Wimbledon last summer
Australian Open 2017
Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne Dates: 16-29 Jan
Coverage: Daily live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra; live text on selected matches on the BBC Sport website; TV highlights on BBC Two and online from 21 January.

Roger Federer eased past 10th seed Tomas Berdych to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The 35-year-old former world number one came into the tournament seeded 17th after six months out through injury.

But the Swiss was in destructive form against Czech Berdych and needed only one hour 32 minutes to win 6-2 6-4 6-4.

Federer will now face world number five Kei Nishikori, with the winner of that match potentially meeting Andy Murray in the quarter-finals.

World number one and five-time Melbourne finalist Murray beat Sam Querrey 6-4 6-2 6-4 earlier on Friday and will face Germany's Mischa Zverev in the fourth round.

Nishikori progressed with a 6-4 6-4 6-4 win against Lukas Lacko from Slovakia.

Former Australian Open winner Stan Wawrinka, the reigning US Open champion, also reached the last 16 with a 3-6 6-2 6-2 7-6 (9-7) victory over Serbia's Viktor Troicki.

The Swiss, a potential semi-final opponent for Murray, will play Andreas Seppi next after the Italian beat Belgian Steve Darcis 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (7-2).

'I didn't expect it to go this well'

Federer had only dropped one set in his victories over Jurgen Melzer and Noah Rubin, but Berdych was considered his first real test since his return from a knee injury.

However, the 17-time Grand Slam winner looked back to his best and never faced a break point in the Rod Laver Arena.

He took 27 minutes to win the first set, in which Berdych could only land 41% of his first serves, and hit a total of 40 winners on his way to victory.

"I didn't expect it to go this well," said Federer. "I am happy it went as well as it did, happy to continue my run here even though I struggled in the early rounds. Today was great and I surprised myself."

When asked how he feels about playing Nishikori in the fourth round, he said: "I guess I am ready now.

"I like Kei, I have always been a fan of his game, he is a nice kid, had a great few seasons. I have got my work cut out."

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