Malisse served for the first set at 6-5 and was broken to 15 with Federer playing conservative tennis, letting Malisse make the errors. This theme continued in the tiebreak that Federer controlled from start to finish winning it 7-2.
Malisse continued to struggled with the conditions in the second and it looked like the match was going to be a straightforward 3 sets like their last Slam meeting at the 2011 Australian Open. But Federer suffered a drop in form himself at the start of the 3rd set (his back was troubling him throughout the match), which Malisse took 6-4 before going a break up in the 4th. From nowhere it seemed like Federer was going to have to undertake back to back 5 set matches, but he stepped it up and broke the X Man twice in row to take a 5-2 lead.
Stat of the match: Federer won an impressive 34/39 of net points (87%), which was a sharp turn around from the same stat in his prior match against Benneteau (56%). He also converted 6 of 7 break point chances.
Federer will now play Youzhny in the quarter finals, and with a 14-0 head to head against the Russian (most recently in the semi-finals of Halle) it’s likely we’ll see Federer in the semi-finals on Friday.
By making the quarter finals, Federer extends his Grand Slam quarter final streak to an impressive 33.