Zee Media Bureau/Jayanta Oinam
New Delhi: It looks so simple at the end. This has been the norm, at least for the maestro, this Australian Open edition. Roger Federer`s fourth round straight set win over Jo-Wilfred Tsonga was a reflection of his old self and possibly an image of his mental well-being. If at all, we were to allow to delve into his once formidable mental fortitude. Reason being, the sixth seeded Swiss has connived with himself to fail in his recent outings.
In front of a packed Rod Laver Arena crowd, the former four-time winner made short work of his French opponent. Tsonga, who has defeated Federer in their last Major meeting at Roland Garros, this time failed to measure Roger`s wide array of formidable arsenal. The clash, billed 'the pop-corn match' which lasted just under two hours, witnessed former World No.1 maintaining his superb form by dispatching Tsonga 6-3, 7-5, 6-4. Winner of 17 Grand Slam single titles is yet to drop a set in this tournament.
Grouped in a tough half, conceivably the toughest, Federer will now meet Andy Murray, before a possible meeting with his old-foe, Rafael Nadal in the semis. In the previous years edition of the Grand Slam of Asia-Pacific, the Scots defeated Federer in the semis, in five gruelling sets. Then, a bad season slowly started to eat into his illustrious career. In the greens of Wimbleldon, the Swiss great suffered his worst defeat in a Grand Slam, losing to an unheralded Sergiy Stakhovsky, in the second round. Thus started a never-ending list of obituary writers declaring Federer`s end. But his form, so far, this season reminds the authority which commands in tennis.
Before his round of 16 clash with Tsonga, Federer admitted that he is aware of the tough draw. And admitted that, `now he doesn`t go crazy who he plays.` Surely, a welcome statement for the zillions of fans following his ups and down. If the 32-year-old has to re-establish, albeit for a short period – considering his age, he will need to play even more better. Because from now on, he will be playing some of the players who have already gained the stature of living legends.