sport

Federer too strong for Raonic

Second seed Roger Federer reached his 35th consecutive grand slam quarter-final with a straight-sets victory over Canada's Milos Raonic.

Federer, seeking a fifth Australian Open title and 18th grand slam of his career, took a while to get to grips with his big-serving opponent before running out a convincing 6-4 7-6 (7/4) 6-2 winner in one hour and 54 minutes.

The Swiss star, who has yet to drop a set in Melbourne, will now face seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last eight after the Frenchman beat compatriot Richard Gasquet in four sets in their fourth-round clash.

Tsonga famously beat Federer in the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2011, the first time Federer had ever lost a grand slam match from two sets up.

"He is a good guy with a great game, he is a great shot-maker and a great character for the game," Federer said of Tsonga. "We didn't play each other last year I don't think and the year before we played three times in 10 days.

"We just came from a trip in South America, played a couple of exhibition matches against each other which was a lot of fun and now we're going to try to bring it here to centre court and I am really looking forward to that. It should be exciting."

The first nine games of today's match went with serve, but 13th seed Raonic was the first to blink and a double fault gifted Federer a set point which he gratefully accepted as Raonic netted a backhand volley.

Federer had amazingly made just one unforced error throughout the set and although much is often made of Raonic's powerful serve, the 31-year-old was more than holding his own in that department too.

Just nine points were lost on serve in the second set - Federer dropping only two - and a tie-break was required to decide the outcome.

Raonic produced aces with his first three serves, but Federer was simply waiting patiently for his opportunity and seized it with a backhand winner down the line as Raonic came into the net. An ace of his own gave Federer three set points and he took the second with a forehand winner.

That seemed to break Raonic's spirit and Federer broke serve twice early in the third set on his way to a convincing victory.