Melbourne: Seventeen-time major winner Roger Federer became the first man to claim a 300th Grand Slam match win, beating 27th seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the third round at the Australian Open here on a rainy Friday. The No.3 seed claimed the feat at the Rod Laver Arena. It was Dimitrov's seventh straight loss to a Top-10 player. Only the legendary Martina Navratilova (306) now stands ahead of him.
"It's very exciting, I must tell you," said Federer of the milestone. "Like when I reached 1,000 (tour-level 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. You look deeper into it, I guess, where it's all happened and how. So it's very nice. I'm very happy." The Swiss master took the first set in 48 minutes. But Dimitrov levelled the match at a set apiece with his aggressive play, paying dividends in the second set. Federer asserted himself in the third set, breaking in the second and sixth games, to win 6-1. He then went on to clinch the contest in two hours and 40 minutes, finishing with 47 winners, including 13 aces. Federer advances to play No.15 seed David Goffin of Belgium, a 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(2), 7-5 winner over No.19 seed Dominic Thiem of Austria.