Qualifying begins: 26 June
The Draw: 30 June
Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July
Order of Play: 2 July
Championships begin: 3 July
COME BACK FOR LIVE SCORES & LIVE BLOG FROM 26 JUNE
Up and down in his first two rounds, the Swiss produced a performance at the Australian Open on Friday that few expected from him so soon in his comeback as he demolished Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.
Some of the 35-year-old’s tennis was out of this world and if 10th seed Berdych seemed awe-struck, then he wasn’t alone as the crowd inside Rod Laver Arena, including Laver himself, were left riveted by the former world No.1’s display.
“I felt like I struggled in the first two rounds but I played great today,” an obviously elated Federer said.
“It’s been unbelievable and I did surprise myself. I think it was a great mental test for me to see if I could stay, you know, in the match point for point, keep rolling. I was able to do that. That's where I'm just really happy that I was able to deliver that.
“From the baseline, honestly I felt worlds better than in the first couple of rounds. Yeah, it's wonderful. I'm really happy, yeah, of course."
Gliding round the court, he was like the Federer of old as he began like a train, breaking the Berdych serve early and never looking back. Serving well – Berdych never had a break point - his forehand was lethal, his backhand supreme, his movement dynamic and some of his touch at the net almost a joke.
Berdych was never able to get a foothold in the match, but things will be tougher for Federer in the next round, though, as his next opponent is Kei Nishikori, the fifth seed, who cruised into the last 16 with victory over Lukas Lacko of Slovakia.
“I guess I’m ready now,” Federer said. “There’s no turning back. I like Kei, he is a good guy, I’m happy to play against him. He’s got maybe the best backhand in the game, so I’ll have my work cut out.”
French Open champion Garbine Muguruza looked pretty good herself as she eased past Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 6-4, 6-2, setting up a clash with Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.
Since winning the French Open last year, Muguruza has endured a wretched time of it in Grand Slams, departing both Wimbledon and the US Open in the second round. Here in Melbourne, though, she looks to be regaining her major-winning form, which is an ominous sign for the rest of the field.
Elsewhere, home favourite Ash Barty’s great run on her return to the Australian Open was ended by qualifier Mona Barthel, with the German winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to continue her dream run.
Quote of the night – John McEnroe
“Is this guy not the greatest guy ever? He likes everyone. He even likes the officials. What's wrong with him?" John McEnroe on Federer, after the Swiss’s on-court speech following his win over Berdych.
Reaction of the night
One has to feel for Goran Ivanisevic. Having suffered at the hands of Federer as Marin Cilic's coach at Wimbledon, he was once again subject to the Swiss' brilliance as part of Berdych's team - and his reaction sums it up.