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Federer reaches milestone


MELBOURNE, Australia—Roger Federer already was a long way clear at the top of the list of men with the most wins in Grand Slam singles matches, so becoming the first to 300 wasn’t a major distraction.

He reached the milestone at Rod Laver Arena earlier today when he moved into the fourth round of the Australian Open with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Grigor Dimitrov.

“It’s very exciting, I must tell you,” Federer said of his latest record, adding that reaching 1,000 wins in tour matches last year also was a cause for celebration.

“It was a big deal for me.

“Not something I ever aimed for or looked for, but when it happens, it’s very special,” he added.

“Yeah, you look deeper into it, I guess, where it’s all happened and how. So it’s very nice.”

The 17-time major winner now is 67 clear of No. 2 Jimmy Connors in Grand Slam singles wins, though Federer’s main aim is to win his first major since Wimbledon in 2012.

In other action today, six-time champion Serena Williams raced to a 6-1, 6-1 win in 45 minutes over 18-year-old Russian Daria Kasatkina on Rod Laver Arena.

She next will face Margarita Gasparyan, who beat Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 6-4.

Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, needed only 25 minutes to win the first set against No. 28-seeded Andreas Seppi, but had a tougher time in the next two—saving two set points in the tie-breaker before winning 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (6) on Margaret Court Arena.

Djokovic, a five-time Australian Open champion, continued a streak of reaching at least the fourth round at every major since the 2009 French Open.

He also was particularly wary of a third-rounder against Seppi, who beat four-time champion Federer at the same stage here last year.

“I played a quality player who took out Federer last year here and who has been on the tour for many years,” Djokovic noted.

“It was a great test. It was a physical match,” he added.

“I’m just glad I got through.”

Earlier in a rain-interrupted day at Melbourne Park, 2008 champion Maria Sharapova collected her 600th win at tour level.

She advanced with a 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-0 win over Lauren Davis before she was reminded of the milestone, becoming the 17th woman to reach the mark.

“Wow. I’ve won 600 matches?” Sharapova asked.

“I think it’s a proud number.”

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