Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 1/17/13
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On Saturday, Roger Federer will play Bernard Tomic in the third round of the Australian Open. Last year they met a round later and it was no contest. This time Australia will be riveted, hoping against hope that the 20-year-old from Queensland can build on his unbeaten start to the year and prove himself capable of filling the shoes left empty by Patrick Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt, the nation's most recent Grand Slam winners. On a hot, dry night at Melbourne Park, 15,000 people watched Federer sweep past an old foe, Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 with the kind of majestic ease we have come to expect when he knows he has an opponent at his mercy. It was Federer's 18th victory over the talented Russian in 20 meetings. Earlier, with the sunshine pushing the on-court temperatures past the 100-degree mark, Tomic, looking as languid and untroubled as ever, had survived a testing struggle against a 25-year-old German, Daniel Brands, to win 6-7(4), 7-5, 7-6(3), 7-6(10) after Brands had sa...
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