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Federer beats Berdych in vintage Open win

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/01/2017 Ben McKay

Roger Federer has cast aside any doubts over his form or fitness with a clinical demolition of Tomas Berdych in the Australian Open third round.

The four-time Open champion rolled back the years on Friday night with a 6-2 6-4 6-4 win over the 10th-seeded Czech in just one hour and 29 minutes in front of an adoring crowd.

The majesty of Federer's all-round game was on full display on Rod Laver Arena.

What was supposed to be the real test of Federer's first official tournament since last year's Wimbledon more closely resembled a walkover.

Such was his dominance, a magical 18th major title cannot be discounted.

His route to a final is arduous - next comes fifth seed Kei Nishikori, with world no.1 Andy Murray lurking as a possible quarter-final opponent.

Berdych found himself laughing at some of Federer's groundstrokes as they sailed past.

Federer was two sets up inside the hour mark without facing a break point on his dominant serve.

He wouldn't all night, winning 39 of 41 points when his first serve landed.

John McEnroe was one of those amazed, saying Federer recalled the "bionic man" and made Berdych "look like number 100 in the world, not number 10".

"He's putting on an absolute clinic," he told broadcasters ESPN.

"Watch out the rest of the field."

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