Roger Federer needed to draw on all of his past experience to escape his fourth round match in Melbourne.
The 3-time champ Aussie Open champ, looking far from his sublime self, fell behind 2 sets to love to a zoning Tomas Berdych but fought back hard to earn an exhilarating 4-6, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win. Regal Rog cracked 61 winners against 40 errors and threw down 20 aces to defeat his Czech foe for the eighth consecutive time and will now meet the dangerous Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in the quarterfinals.
Here's what the former No.1 said about facing the 20-year old upstart:
Well, I mean, he's had a great run after Wimbledon was it? I think he won four tournaments in a row: Two on clay and two on hard court, I think. Yeah, kind of out of the blue. They were not the biggest tournaments in the world, but still, he was able to dominate some good players. I think he beat Roddick and other players like Tommy Haas.What a great escape Fed! But you'll need to get off to a much quicker start and have your forehand working in your match against J. Martin. With that being said, you def have enough tricks left in your Wilson bag to figure out a way to win.
On hard court, that's a great effort. Then he backed it up by playing well at the Open. For a young guy to cope with the pressure and make it to the Masters in the end, I think, was a great effort from his side.
So I think he's done really, really well. It's going to be an interesting match for me. I'm excited playing against him.
The Auckland champ is streaking, however, and has yet to show the mental fragility Tomas has displayed throughout his career.
It could get interesting - just sayin'.
(image via Getty)