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Aus Open PHOTOS: Raonic recovers from stumble; Serena marches on

Last updated on: January 21, 2017 22:20 IST

Images from Day 6 of the Australian Open in Melbourne, on Saturday.

Dimitrov easily tames Gasquet to reach last 16

Grigor Dimitrov

IMAGE: Grigor Dimitrov in action in his third round match. Photograph: Pat Scala/Getty Images

Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov produced a brilliant display to end Richard Gasquet's promising Australian Open campaign with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 victory in the third round on Saturday.

Dimitrov, who ended a 2-1/2 year trophy drought by winning the Brisbane International title in the run up to the season's opening Grand Slam, appeared to be in a hurry to get off court after the players were kept waiting until almost midnight to start the match.

He broke early in every set and the 18th-seeded Frenchman, who had lost only 13 games in his two previous matches, bowed out after two hours and two minutes of action on a sparsely populated Rod Laver Arena.

The 15th seed, who hit 48 winners, leapt high into the air as he celebrated sealing only his second win in seven meetings over Gasquet.

Dimitrov will next face six-times champion Novak Djokovic's conqueror, Denis Istomin, for a place in the last eight.

Fifth seed Pliskova survives Ostapenko scare

Karoline Pliskova

IMAGE: Karoline Pliskova celebrates winning her third round match. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Karolina Pliskova showed nerves of steel as she battled back from 5-2 down in the deciding set to beat teenager Jelena Ostapenko 4-6, 6-0, 10-8 and reach the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time.

The fifth seed, a finalist at the US Open last year, won eight of the last 11 games in a topsy-turvy contest on Margaret Court Arena to secure a last-16 meeting with the final Australian in the draw, Daria Gavrilova.

"I was a little bit lucky today, I think she was probably the best one but I am very happy to be in the fourth round for the first time," said the 24-year-old Czech.

"When she was 5-2 she was missing a little bit more, I was just staying in the game, even if I broke my racket. I was just trying to get every ball in as she was playing so fast and aggressive."

Jelena Ostapenko

IMAGE: Jelena Ostapenko reacts after losing a point. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Ostapenko's first attempt to serve for the match ended with a double fault and a grin from the Latvian but the second ended in tears after she slapped a straightforward backhand into the net.

The fired up world number 38, who mixed 41 winners with 43 unforced errors over the contest, saved one match point at 5-6 in the decider but looked to have run out of steam as the match drew to its conclusion.

Pliskova had needed just an hour to get through each of her first two matches at Melbourne Park but needed a shade over two hours to see off the 19-year-old, who conceded victory when she clattered a backhand into the net post.

Raonic recovers from stumble to reach fourth round

Milos Raonic

IMAGE: Milos Raonic celebrates winning a point during his third round match. Photograph: Jack Thomas/Getty Images

Milos Raonic's machine-like advance through the Australian Open suffered a brief glitch against Gilles Simon but the Canadian re-booted to delete the dogged Frenchman 6-2, 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-3 and reach the fourth round.

Third seed Raonic lost his first set of the tournament and his composure against the indefatigable Simon, whose hard running and passing shots threatened to turn the game on its head at a heaving Hisense Arena.

Raonic drowned out the Gallic cheers by capturing the decisive break in the sixth game of the final set and sealed the match with a big kicking serve that Simon could only parry into the net.

Raonic, a semi-finalist last year, next plays 13th seed Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in the quarter-finals.

Serena storms into fourth round

Serena Williams

IMAGE: Serena Williams in action during her third round match against Nicole Gibbs. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Serena Williams gave compatriot Nicole Gibbs a lesson in Grand Slam tennis with a 6-1, 6-3 towelling to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open on Saturday.

Having passed her earlier tests against more accomplished players, Williams had far too many weapons for the 92nd-ranked Gibbs, who appeared overawed by the occasion on a sun-drenched Rod Laver Arena.

Williams suffered a brief lapse when serving for the match at 5-2 and was broken for the first time, but she promptly broke back to close out the one-sided contest in just over an hour.

Williams next faces Czech 16th seed Barbora Strycova for a place in the quarter-finals.

Seed-killer Makarova bundles out Cibulkova

Ekaterina Makarova

IMAGE: Ekaterina Makarova celebrates winning her third round match against Dominika Cibulkova. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Ekaterina Makarova continued to show little regard for seeds at the Australian Open and sent another one heading for the exits at Melbourne Park with a 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-3 win over sixth seed Dominika Cibulkova in the third round.

The 28-year-old, whose list of high-seeded victims at previous Australian Opens includes Ana Ivanovic (19th), Serena Williams (12th), Angelique Kerber (5th) and Simona Halep (3rd), will now face either Johanna Konta or Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round.

Makarova, who despite her giant-killing exploits has only reached one semi-final at Melbourne Park (2015), raced through the first set courtesy of three breaks and then into a 4-0 lead in the second.

Cibulkova, however, fought back to win the next five games to take a 5-4 lead then went on to force a deciding set.

Makarova took a medical time out for treatment on her right elbow while leading 3-2 in the third but it did not see the momentum swing back Cibulkova. The Russian then broke to take a 5-3 lead and served out in the next game.

Konta thrashes Wozniacki

Johanna Konta

IMAGE: Johanna Konta plays a forehand in her third round match. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Britain's Johanna Konta powered into the fourth round of the Australian Open for the second year in a row, comfortably seeing off former world number one Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1 on Margaret Court Arena.

Konta, who is yet to drop a set in the tournament, broke the Dane midway through the first set with a smoking drop shot and never looked back, keeping the pressure up throughout the 75-minute contest.

The ninth seeded 25-year-old, the female contingent in a British charge into the second week at Melbourne Park, joined male compatriots Andy Murray and Dan Evans in the fourth round when Wozniacki put a backhand wide.

The Sydney-born Konta, a semi-finalist here last year, will next face 30th seed Ekaterina Makarova as she seeks to give Britain its first women's grand slam singles champion in four decades.

Unseeded Brady enters fourth round

Jennifer Brady

IMAGE: Jennifer Brady in action in her third round match. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Unseeded American Jennifer Brady upsets 14th seed Elena Vesnina 7-6(4), 6-2 on Show Court 2 to make her first Grand Slam fourth round.

The 116th ranked Brady, who overwhelmed the 18th-ranked Vesnina in 84 minutes, is unsure how the big payday will affect her.

"I probably won't know how it feels until I get the check or see the wire transfer," the American qualifier said after securing at least A$220,000 for making the fourth round.

The 21-year-old has career earnings of $175,064 by playing mostly second tier events since her first tournament in 2010, where she won $98 in losing to Chanelle Van Nguyen in the first round in Evansville.

In the fourth round, she will take on Croatian veteran Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who also advanced to the fourth round for the first time at Melbourne Park after she fought back from a set down against Greece's Maria Sakkari to record a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory.

The 34-year-old Lucic-Baroni had lost to Steffi Graf in the Wimbledon semi-finals in 1999.

Monfils storms into fourth round

Gael Monfils

IMAGE: Gael Monfils plays a backhand in his third round match. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Sixth seed Gael Monfils secured a routine third round 6-3, 7-6(1), 6-4 victory over Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber in an hour and 55 minutes.

The Frenchman faces Spanish ninth seed Nadal in the next round.

Istomin makes Busta his latest victim

Denis Istomin

IMAGE: Denis Istomin celebrates winning his third round match. Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters

Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, who knocked out defending champion and world number two Novak Djokovic in the previous round, continues his dream run as he beat Spanish 30th seed Pablo Carreno Busta 6-4, 4-6 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in three hours and 27 minutes.

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