Federer toils to beat Robredo in Melbourne

Monday, 24 January 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters) - Roger Federer toiled in the sun for a 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-2 victory over Spain’s Tommy Robredo on Sunday, earning the Swiss master a spot in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

Second seed Federer produced spells of jaw-dropping brilliance but also hit countless loose shots, mostly forehands, in a patchy performance on a sun-baked Rod Laver Arena.

“I’m satisfied. I’m in another quarter-final,” the defending Melbourne champion told reporters after matching Jimmy Connors for the most consecutive appearances in the last eight of a grand slam at 27.

“It’s been a tough first week with a bit of heat the last couple of matches I played in,” added the former world number one, who survived a five-set scare against Frenchman Gilles Simon in the second round of the year’s first major.

“I don’t care about unforced errors (40). Those kinds of statistics don’t mean a whole lot to me. I don’t care if I make 20 or 60 unforced errors. As long as I’m doing the right things and staying true to my game plan.”

Federer ripped through the first set in 32 minutes but a wild forehand gifted Robredo a break and another shanked shot the second set in a bizarre turnaround.

But Federer, looking to add to his record 16 grand slam titles, raised his game to take the third, going toe-to-toe with the Spaniard in some fierce rallies.