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The highly publicized night matches have been huge letdowns during the first week. From the thrashing of Lleyton Hewitt to Maria Sharapova’s complete dominance of Venus Williams—they didn’t make the early wake up calls worth it. Tonight’s match could have the same outcome.
Federer is looking for his 12th straight second week appearance at Melbourne and first Aussie Open title since 2010. Don’t expect his streak to end tonight.
However, this won’t be one-way Federer traffic due to Tomic’s offseason maturity, training and his confidence, thanks to his first ATP title in Sydney last week. Tomic has improved his physical fitness, as we saw in his tough second round win in 100-degree weather conditions.
He still has some of his old traits, and was cocky in his post-match interviews, telling reporters via ESPN that Roger Federer had to win his second round match too: “If I do play him, then I’ve got my serve, which is a weapon, that I can keep holding now against him. But he’s got to beat [Nikolay] Davydenko. It’s not easy.”
Though the verbal banter was being traded on both sides, look for this match to surpass last year’s forth-round encounter. Like Tomic said, he needs to serve smarter and catch Federer off guard in the first set if he wants any chance at an upset.
Tomic’s rackets should do the talking—for at least a set before Federer pulls away in four.