Melbourne – Roger Federer may never win another grand slam again. As it is his haul of 17 majors is unprecedented in the men’s game.
When Federer swept past a player often compared to him, Grigor Dimitrov, in the third round under the roof at the Australian Open, he became the first man to achieve 300 singles wins at grand slams.
“It’s very exciting, I must tell you,” Federer told reporters after his 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-4 victory. “Like when I reached 1,000 (overall wins) last year, it was a big deal for me. Not something I ever aimed for or looked for, but when it happens, it’s very special.
“Yeah, you look deeper into it, I guess, where it’s all happened and how. So it’s very nice. I’m very happy.”
Given he has no plans to quit anytime soon — he has suggested he’ll play through 2017 at the very least — it’s almost a certainty the 34-year-old will surpass Martina Navratilova’s all-time record of 306 victories when he lines up at the French Open in May.
Indeed it was a day of milestones at Melbourne Park despite rain disrupting play, with Maria Sharapova needing a third set but then seeing off a plucky Lauren Davis 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-0 to notch her 600th professional win.
However, Roberta Vinci, who last season foiled Serena Williams’ bid to achieve the first calendar year grand slam since 1988, couldn’t duplicate her New York success as the U.S. Open finalist fell to Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam 0-6 6-4 6-4. Williams, meanwhile, needed just 45 minutes to dispatch Daria Kasatkina 6-1 6-1. Kasatkina had upset Williams’ older sister, Venus, in Auckland in early January.
The title for Williams would give her 22 majors, which would tie the 34-year-old with Steffi Graf for the Open Era record. Attempting to derail the American in the fourth round is 58th-ranked Margarita Gasparyan.