Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

AUSTRALIAN OPEN ; ANOTHER FEDERER MILESTONE; Adds 300th Grand Slam Singles Win to List of Accomplishments

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

AUSTRALIAN OPEN ; ANOTHER FEDERER MILESTONE; Adds 300th Grand Slam Singles Win to List of Accomplishments

Article excerpt

MELBOURNE, Australia - The countless records and accolades accumulated over a long and illustrious career don't in any way diminish Roger Federer's satisfaction when he sets yet another benchmark. Federer became the first man to win 300 Grand Slam singles matches when he beat Grigor Dimitrov, a player formerly dubbed "baby Fed" for the likeness of their styles, in the third round of the Australian Open on Friday.

The 34-year-old Federer already tops many "most of lists in men's tennis - from the number of major titles won (17) to the number of consecutive Grand Slam tournaments contested (65). Yet he still gets a thrill from the numbers.

"It's very exciting, I must tell you, Federer told the crowd following his 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Dimitrov.

He compared the latest milestone to his 1,000th win in tour- level matches, which he sealed 12 months ago in Brisbane. "It was a big deal for me.

Federer is now 67 wins ahead of No. 2 and long-retired Jimmy Connors in terms of Grand Slam singles wins, so the mark is safe for a while.

"It's not something I ever aimed for but when it happens, it's very special, he said. "You look deeper into it, where it's all happened and how. So it's very nice.

Federer's next aim is to break a Grand Slam title drought that dates back to Wimbledon 2012. He reached two major finals in 2015, losing them both to Novak Djokovic, who has replaced him as the most dominant man in the draw. He could meet Djokovic in the semifinals.

Djokovic took care of the man who ended Federer's run in the third round here last year, the Swiss star's worst run at the Australian Open since 2001.

The No. 1-ranked Djokovic needed only 25 minutes to win the first set against No. 28-seeded Andreas Seppi but had a tougher time in the next two, saving two set points in the tiebreaker before winning 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (6). The five-time Australian Open champion was playing at the same time as Serena Williams, a six-time Australian Open winner, so he shuffled over to Margaret Court Arena.

He noted how he liked the renovation - the No. 2 stadium has had a roof installed since his last outing there.

"I played a quality player who took out Federer last year here and who has been on the tour for many years, Djokovic said. …

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