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Aus Open PIX: Serena, Djokovic ease into third round; Raonic overcomes Wawrinka

Last updated on: January 17, 2019 19:27 IST

Images from the Australian Open in Melbourne on Thursday.

Serena Williams

IMAGE: Serena Williams celebrates winning her second round match against Eugenie Bouchard. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Serena Williams soundly beat Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 6-2, on Thursday night, racing through the last five games to advance to the third round of the Australian Open.

Easily beaten in the first set, the Canadian Bouchard, a former Wimbledon finalist who has been trying to retrieve her stellar form of five years ago, pressed early in the second to lead two games to one.

 

Serena Williams

IMAGE: Serena Williams is vying for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Williams responded in dominant fashion, however, and did not drop another game on her way to ending the match with a drive-volley winner.

The American is vying for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title, and will play Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska in the third round.

Djokovic dominates Tsonga re-match to reach third round

Novak Djokovic

IMAGE: Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a backhand during his second round match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Eleven years after beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the 2008 Australian Open, top seed Novak Djokovic bested the Frenchman again at Melbourne Park to reach the third round early.

The world number one Serb claimed a clinical 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 win over wildcard entry Tsonga in the late match at Rod Laver Arena.

While Djokovic is seeking a third successive Grand Slam title, Tsonga has been on a different trajectory, with his ranking slipping to 177 after his 2018 season was cut short by knee injury in April.

The gap between the players' standing was on full show as Djokovic cruised to victory in two hours and four minutes, setting up a mouthwatering inter-generational clash with Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov.

Raonic overcomes Wawrinka

Milos Raonic

IMAGE: Milos Raonic celebrates a point during his second round match against Stan Wawrinka. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Milos Raonic served his way into the third round of the Australian Open with a pulsating 6-7(4), 7-6(6), 7-6(11), 7-6(5) victory against former champion Stanislas Wawrinka.

In one of the best matches of the opening rounds, the 196 cm (6.43 ft) Canadian repeatedly served his way out of trouble against an opponent armed with an elegant as well as destructive single-handed backhand.

The reserved Canadian raised his fists in triumph after his Swiss opponent misfired on his forehand on match point after four hours of intense play.

Raonic, seeded 16, will play the winner of Chung Hyeon and Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the third round.

Wasteful Zverev reaches third round after five-set battle

Alexander Zverev

IMAGE: Alexander Zverev of Germany celebrates match point in his second round match against Jeremy Chardy of France. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Germany's Alexander Zverev wasted a flurry of opportunities before securing a 7-6(5), 6-4, 5-7, 6-7(6), 6-1 win over unseeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy to book a place in the Australian Open third round.

The 21-year-old, seeded fourth at Melbourne Park, looked set for an easy outing after taking a two-set lead and with a flurry of break points in the third set. But he wasted four chances to break and then lost his serve to surrender the third set.

The Frenchman, ranked 36, won the fourth set in a tiebreak after Zverev, who claimed the 2018 ATP Tour Finals after beating Roger Federer in the semis and then Novak Djokovic, wasted four more break point opportunities in the seventh game.

Chardy ran out of steam in the final set as his errors mounted and Zverev cantered to victory in three hours and 46 minutes. He next plays local wildcard Alex Bolt, who stunned 29th-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon 2-6, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-4.

Top seed Halep digs deep against impressive Kenin

Simona Halep

IMAGE: Simona Halep plays a backhand in her second round match against Sofia Kenin. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Top seed Simona Halep staved off a spirited challenge from American youngster Sofia Kenin to prevail 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4 in the third round of the Australian Open and set up a showdown with former world number one Venus Williams next.

The Romanian has struggled for form and fitness since her first-round defeat at the US Open last August and came into the year's first Grand Slam short of preparation after a back injury ended her 2018 season prematurely.

She broke the 20-year-old Kenin twice in the first set but the American fought back in the second set from 3-0 down to level it at 1-1 in the tiebreaker.

Halep then got the crucial break in the third set to go up 5-4 and converted her second match point for the victory in two hours and 31 minutes.

Halep, who was on a five-match losing streak before the Australian Open, set up a third-round meeting against multiple Grand Slam winner Williams, who beat Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.

Osaka bashes through to Round 3

Naomi Osaka

IMAGE: Naomi Osaka celebrates after winning her second round match against Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

US Open champion Naomi Osaka eased through to the third round of the Australian Open with a dominant 6-2, 6-4 win over unseeded Slovenian Tamara Zidansek.

The Japanese number one took a tablet from a trainer when leading 2-1 in the second set and then dropped serve to trail 4-2, handing 78th-ranked Zidansek hope of making a game of it at Margaret Court Arena.

However, fourth seed Osaka ramped up her power game to break back immediately and roared through the next three games before closing the match with a fierce second serve.

Osaka will play Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei for a place in the fourth round.

Giorgi swats aside Swiatek

Camila Giorgi

IMAGE: Camila Giorgi plays a backhand in her second round match. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Italy's Camila Giorgi took less than an hour to move into the third round with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Polish qualifier Iga Swiatek.

The 27-year-old capitalised on a poor service game from Swiatek to sieze six of her 11 break opportunities and will next face either seventh seed Karolina Pliskova or Madison Brengle. 

Nishikori survives scare

Kei Nishikori

IMAGE: Kei Nishikori of Japan celebrates winning match point in his second round match against Ivo Karlovic of Croatia. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Kei Nishikori survived a huge scare against Croatian Ivo Karlovic before reaching the third round of the Australian Open with a 6-3, 7-6(6), 5-7, 5-7, 7-6(7) win.

On a sweltering afternoon at Margaret Court Arena, eighth seed Nishikori appeared set to coast to victory after taking the first two sets but was dragged into a dogfight by the big-serving 39-year-old.

However, after weathering 59 aces from Karlovic, the Japanese held firm in the final tense 10-point tiebreak and slumped to his knees in relief when the Croatian failed to deal with his final first serve.

Nishikori will play the winner of Joao Sousa and Philipp Kohlschreiber for a place in the fourth round.

Seventh seed Thiem retires hurt

Dominic Thiem

IMAGE: Dominic Thiem reacts during his second round match against Alexei Popyrin. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Seventh seed Dominic Thiem's Australian Open campaign came to a premature end with the Austrian retiring hurt in his second round clash against wildcard Alexei Popyrin.

Thiem appeared frustrated during the match, smashing one of his racquets, as he trailed 7-5, 6-4, 2-0 before retiring.

Local favourite Popyrin will play the winner of Lucas Pouille and Maximilian Marterer in the third round.

Keys eases through to third round

Madison Keys

IMAGE: Madison Keys in action during her third round match. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Madison Keys is also through to the third round at Melbourne Park after a 6-3, 6-4 win over Anastasia Potapova.

Italy's Camila Giorgi took less than an hour to move into the third round with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Polish qualifier Iga Swiatek.

The 27-year-old capitalised on a poor service game from Swiatek to sieze six of her 11 break opportunities and will next face either seventh seed Karolina Pliskova or Madison Brengle.

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