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I can conquer Federer, says Tomic
By Darren Walton
21:35 AEST Thu Jan 17 2013

Bernard Tomic earnestly believes he can bring down the mighty Roger Federer in their third-round Australian Open blockbuster on Saturday night.

The red-hot Tomic is backing his lethal delivery to stop the game's all-time greatest after crunching 26 aces en route to his 10th straight win of the summer on Thursday.

"That's probably the best I've ever served," Tomic said after keeping his cool in heatwave conditions to see off inspired German qualifier Daniel Brands 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (10-8) in two hours and 55 minutes.

The 20-year-old has now gone 76 consecutive service games without being broken.

"Tells you I'm serving really well," he said. "I'm going to use all this confidence in the next round."

He will need to.

Tomic must end Federer's record run of 34 consecutive grand slam quarter-final appearances and reverse his fourth-round loss last year to the Swiss maestro to keep his Open dream alive.

But he can't wait to have a crack.

"What a match it is," Tomic said.

"Ten out of 10 now with matches (this summer). I feel so confident. This is the perfect time to play him.

"I've got a good attitude to win. I've beaten a lot of good players over the last past two weeks, especially Novak (at the Hopman Cup).

"I think I can do it ... I'm ready. I mean, I'm not going to say I don't have the belief. I do have the belief now. It's possible. I showed that in Perth, that you can beat these players.

"Now I'm going to try to beat him."

Federer confirmed the meeting between master and apprentice with a 6-3 6-4 6-4 dismissal of old Russian rival Nikolay Davydenko on Thursday night.

Tomic's last defeat in Australia came 14 matches ago - against that man Federer, who also took care of the dual grand slam junior champion in a Davis Cup tie in Sydney in 2011 and in Cincinnati last year.

"We had a good one last year. We played each other in Davis Cup as well, so we kind of know each other better this time around," Federer said.

"Sure it's a tough match."

Federer said he would need to "play tough" to resist the Tomic challenge.

"I don't mind the physical aspect so maybe that's an advantage for me, I don't know," said the four-times Open champion.

"But I'll try to play tough and fair and hopefully come through. I'll always play aggressive.

"Tonight, obviously there were not that many rallies because Nikolay was doing the same thing, but I have the feeling that we're going to manoeuvre each other around a bit more the next round.

"So we'll see a bit more finesse is my feeling."

While Federer cruised past Davydenko in third gear, Tomic needed eight match points to put away Brands.

Despite his own career-best serving display, Tomic also found it almost impossible to make inroads on Brands' serve as the world No.120 took the opening set without offering up a solitary break point.

But Tomic turned the match with a flash of brilliance, showing great foot speed and balance to whip a spectacular running forehand pass down the line to finally gain a break for 6-5 in the second set.

He then held his nerve to serve out the set from love-30 down before, incredibly, Brands didn't drop a single point on serve in the third set until double-faulting on the opening point of the pivotal tiebreaker.

That was enough for Tomic to nudge ahead for the first time and, after fighting off seven match points, Brands finally succumbed to put Tomic into the last 32 of his home slam for the third year in a row.


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