Tennis: Tomic out to break Federer's slam streak

Switzerland's Roger Federer makes a backhand return to Russia's Nikolay Davydenko during their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championship. Photo / AP
Switzerland's Roger Federer makes a backhand return to Russia's Nikolay Davydenko during their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championship. Photo / AP

Australia's singles involvement in the Australian Open will end tonight unless Bernard Tomic can do what no one else has in almost nine years and knock out Roger Federer in the first week of a grand slam.

Since Brazil's Gustavo Kuerten downed a then-22-year-old Federer in the third round of the 2004 French Open, the 31-year-old has reached at least the quarter-finals of 34 straight majors.

The Swiss great emphasised the vast experience gulf between himself and his in-form 20-year-old opponent when asked where he might gain an advantage in their third round clash.

"I have so much more experience than him," Federer said.

"Last year I reached my thousandth match on tour.

"I know how hard a five-setter can be. I know how intense a night session can be and all these things.

"Whatever that means - length of rally, length of match, intensity - I've been there.

"That could potentially help me, but it could also not help me."

Also on Saturday night, French 14th seed Gilles Simon will take on flashy countryman Gael Monfils.

US Open champion Andy Murray will play his third round match earlier on Saturday, against unseeded Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis.

Slovenian Blaz Kavcic, whose marathon second-round win over James Duckworth on Thursday left Tomic as the last local standing, will meet athletic French seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

In the women's draw, reigning champion Victoria Azarenka will be heavily favoured to beat unseeded American Jamie Hampton, as will Serena Williams against Japan's Ayumi Morita.

British teenager Laura Robson, who upset eighth seed Petra Kvitova in the second round, will be up against another youngster, American 19-year-old Sloane Stephens.

-AAP

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