Berdych ousts Fognini to reach Australian Open quarters

Czech 19th seed Tomas Berdych eliminated Italy's Fabio Fognini in straight sets to advance to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Monday.

Tomas Berdych will play his seventh Australian Open quarterfinal.   -  AP

Tomas Berdych powered past Fabio Fognini in straight sets to advance to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on Monday for a seventh time.

The Czech, seeded 19 and a two-time semi-finalist in Melbourne, downed the 25th seeded Italian 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 in 2hr 8min on Margaret Court Arena and will face either Roger Federer or Hungary's Marton Fucsovics in the last eight.

It will be his seventh quarterfinal in his 15th Australian Open appearance and opens up the possibility of a 26th encounter with Federer.

"I like your optimism," Berdych smiled when asked on court about the prospect of facing the Swiss ace yet again.

"What to say? How many times is it going to be? So let's see who's going to win. I have no choice to choose the opponent and may the better man win," Berdych said.

"I am going to get myself ready, it's all I can do, and prepare the best I can. So far I think I've done pretty well, I'm feeling good, healthy, so I feel I am on the best base line I can be."

Federer leads the big-serving Czech 19-6 in their matches going back to 2004 at the Athens Olympics.

Berdych was in little trouble against the maverick Fognini, breaking the Italian's serve six times, hitting 37 winners and offset with 20 unforced errors.

"He's a very tough opponent, you especially have to stay very focused from the first point to the last because you never know what's going to come up," Berdych said.

"He can always come up from the back of the court with amazing shots and turn the match around so being focused was the best thing I could have done today."

Berdych went into the match holding the record for the most number of Australian Open round of 16 appearances by a Czech man with 10 ahead of Ivan Lendl's eight.

He improved his record to 44-14 at the Australian Open, representing his most successful major tournament in terms of matches won and quarter-finals reached.

Berdych has reached the semi-finals twice in Melbourne, losing to Stan Wawrinka in 2014 and against Andy Murray the following year.

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