Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return to Nikolay
Davydenko of Russia during their men's singles match at the
Australian Open in Melbourne. REUTERS/David Gray
Roger Federer and Serena Williams showed there was plenty
of life left in their relatively old legs by easing into the
third round of the Australian Open on a day when sweltering
heat tested the stamina of thirtysomething and teenager alike.
Sunscreen and icepacks were the order of the day on Thursday
as temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius in the late afternoon
but 31-year-old Federer was coolness personified in the early
evening as he dismissed Nikolay Davydenko 6-3 6-4 6-4.
Third seed Williams, also 31, kept her time on court to a
minimum as she swept aside Garbine Muguruza 6-2 6-0 before
Andy Murray, her counterpart in the men's draw, clinically
despatched Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-2 6-2 6-4.
Not everybody got off so lightly, however, and Blaz Kavcic
slugged it out for four hours and 52 minutes on court three
against James Duckworth in ferocious heat in the middle of
the day before winning 3-6 6-3 6-4 6-7 10-8.
"Total physical collapse after the match," the Slovenian
Tweeted lightheartedly along with a picture of him receiving
medical treatment in the locker room. "Feeling quite happy
though, just don't know, because of my win or morphine."
Women's defending champion and world number one Victoria
Azarenka, 23, proceeded easily enough in the relative cool of
the morning with a 6-1 6-0 thrashing of Greek Eleni
Any hopes the Belarussian had that Williams, against whom she
has a 1-11 record, might be hampered by the ankle she injured
on Tuesday were quickly dashed in the next match on Rod Laver
The American, odds-on favourite to de-throne Azarenka and
capture a 16th grand slam title next week, gave herself a fat
lip with her own racket during the first set but was barely
"I didn't feel anything today," Williams, who later played
doubles, said of the ankle injury.
"Usually I feel injuries after the match, but so far, so
good. I felt much better than I ever dreamed of expecting to
feel. I'm on the up and up. It can only get better from
Federer, chasing an 18th major title here, will next face
20-year-old Bernard Tomic and the Swiss, who needed a
fraction under two hours to beat Davydenko, was quick to warn
the Australian that he was probably fitter than 10 years ago.
"I'm much more experienced today. I know what I can expect
from myself in terms of my level of play early on," the
second seed said.
"I'm much stronger today physically clearly so I can always
rely on that as well, extend the rallies, so don't have to be
worried about that."
Seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame Japan's Go Soeda 6-3
7-6 6-3 and was joined in the third round by fellow Frenchman
Richard Gasquet, who beat Colombian Alejandro Falla 6-3 6-2
Gael Monfils also progressed but only after double-faulting
on four successive match points before finally clinching a
7-6 4-6 0-6 6-1 8-6 victory over Lu Yen-Hsun of Taiwan.
"It was a bit crazy," the flamboyant Frenchman said. "It was
like, 'I need to hit an ace because I know it's going to be a
double-fault for sure'. It was weird."
Veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm, the women's world number 100, is
fast becoming a cult hero at Melbourne Park and she continued
her fairytale run with a 6-2 7-5 win over Israel's Shahar
"It's not easy, not easy," the 42-year-old Japanese said. "I
need a new body."
Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki was also feeling
her age after her encounter with Croatian Donna Vekic, which
she won 6-1 6-4.
"I've been out here for a few years now and I feel like a
veteran, particularly when I'm playing against a
16-year-old," she said.
"I'm seriously starting to feel old and I'm 22! I got asked a
few months ago if I was going to retire."
The outer courts were again the place to go for upsets with
the highlight being Ricardas Berankis's 6-2 6-3 6-1 hammering
of 25th seed Florian Mayer on court six.
The Lithuanian will meet Murray next and the convincing
nature of his win indicated he might prove more of a handful
for the Scot than the limited Sousa.
The US Open champion used all the weapons in his armoury in
the 101-minute contest and every one of them was superior to
that possessed by his Portuguese opponent.
"You need to get in control of the points and dictate them
because otherwise you will get very tired very quickly in
these conditions," said the 25-year-old Murray.
His compatriot Laura Robson was one of 11 teenagers to reach
the women's second round and she became the third to progress
when she beat former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 2-6 6-3
11-9 well past midnight, giving Britain two female players in
the third round of a grand slam for the first time since