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Bernard Tomic And Roger Federer To Meet In Epic Australian Open Third Round Clash

The third round matchup between the veteran champion and a rising star could be the highlight of the tournament.

Bernard Tomic has already done a lot of reignite his career so far in 2013, but the biggest test of his career will come Saturday night against world No.2 Roger Federer.

Tomic survived 40-degree heat to outlast unknown German Daniel Brands on Friday 6-7(4-7) 7-5 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (10-8) in what turned out to be an epic showdown.

Brands was no easy beat and the two were matched quite evenly; Tomic served 23 aces to Brands’ 23 while the German won the winners count 73-59.

“Unexpectedly he played very well,” Tomic said of his world No.120 opponent.

“It was very difficult for me because we were both serving well. He surprised me today. But without you guys I’d never got through that,’’ Tomic said of the home crowd that supported him for the near three hour match.

Federer had far less trouble against an old rival in Nikolay Davydenko, winning 6-3 6-4 6-4 on Friday.

The Swiss great has won 34 straight grand slam quarter-finals and got the better of Tomic in the fourth round of the Open last year.

"It's nice to see Bernard playing better again, he had a rough end to the season last year, so he's had a wonderful start this year and I hope he can keep it and get back to a big ranking," said Federer.

Tomic, the last Aussie left in the tournament, reflected on his previous encounters against the 17-time grand slam champion.

“I definitely got my arse kicked both times,’’ he said.

“He’s an amazing player. If the opportunity comes it would be good. He was too good for me last year but I’m a better player this year so it could be interesting.’’

Saturday will also see Serena Williams take on Ayumi Morita and sixth seed Juan Martin Del Potro go against Jeremy Chardy.

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Follow Robert White on Twitter @RobertWhitebrrr.