Having a long inactivity period and recovering due to a knee injury, Roger Federer headed to the Australian Open with no big dreams or high expectations as he personally admitted. But, the Australian summer breeze seems to have quite a reviving effect on the Swiss star. He is already in the 4th round and his game seems pretty much perfect especially following his great win against Berdych in the 3rd round. Against the Czech, Federer played extraordinary hitting winners from all possible angles. A 4 time champion in Melbourne, Federer sets quite a clash with the Japanese no.

1 Kei Nishikori (5 ATP).

Federer leads Nishikori on the overall stats

Federer and Nishikori had a short history of 6 meetings with Federer winning 4 and Nishikori 2. The Japanese encountered his first success over Federer back in 2013 during a Masters 1000 event on the clay court of Madrid. The second one took place one year later also at a Masters 1000 but this time on the hardcourt from Miami.

But those were the days when the young Japanese was on the verge of a breakthrough. His progress lately has been substantial having most of the players trying to avoid playing against him. He is a well-gifted player with mostly a defensive strategy easily switched into attack mode. The way he moves on the Tennis court reminds of Djokovic's athleticism.

Nishikori owns a few extraordinary shots in his bag of tricks but the two-handed backhand it`s the most likely to produce significant damage and distress to the opponent.

Federer will need to be aggressive

To win against a player like Nishikori, it requires nearly perfect shots aiming for the lines of the tennis court. Besides, against such a great defensive player, it`s unlikely to win a match from behind of the court.

Federer will have to step deep into the field and while approaching the net his ball strikes must leave Nishikori with no chance to return it back.

What`s great for Federer is the way he played against Berdych. There were only a few mistakes on his side. In the previous 2 matches, he had a fair amount of mishits backhand shots which caused an uproar from the crowd gathered at Rod Laver Arena.

Federer must expect to play a 5 sets thriller as Nishikori is well-known for his great fitness.