Top seeds Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber both advanced with few problems from their third-round matches at the 2017 Australian Open on Friday.
Briton Murray downed America’s Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 in just under two hours, while German world No. 1 Kerber took 55 minutes to beat Kristyna Pliskova 6-0, 6-4.
Four-time Melbourne champion Roger Federer also made quick work of 10th seed Tomas Berdych, beating him 6-2, 6-4, 6-4, and Venus Williams thrashed China’s Ying-Ying Duan 6-1, 6-0.
Read on for a recap of the day’s action and a look at all the results from Friday’s singles matches.
|(4) Stan Wawrinka bt. (29) Viktor Troicki||3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(7)|
|(17) Roger Federer bt. (10) Tomas Berdych||6-2, 6-4, 6-4|
|(12) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bt. (23) Jack Sock||7-6(4), 7-5, 6-7(8), 6-3|
|(5) Kei Nishikori bt. Lukas Lacko||6-4, 6-4, 6-4|
|(1) Andy Murray bt. (31) Sam Querrey||6-4, 6-2, 6-4|
|Dan Evans bt. (27) Bernard Tomic||7-5, 7-6(2), 7-6(3)|
|Mischa Zverev bt. Malek Jaziri||6-1, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0|
|Andreas Seppi bt. Steve Darcis||4-6, 6-4, 7-6(1), 7-6(2)|
|Coco Vandeweghe bt. Eugenie Bouchard||6-4, 3-6, 7-5|
|(1) Angelique Kerber bt. Kristyna Pliskova||6-0, 6-4|
|Mona Barthel bt. Ashleigh Barty||6-4, 3-6, 6-3|
|(24) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova bt. (11) Elina Svitolina||7-5, 4-6, 6-3|
|(13) Venus Williams bt. Ying-Ying Duan||6-1, 6-0|
|(7) Garbine Muguruza bt. (32) Anastasija Sevastova||6-4, 6-2|
|(8) Svetlana Kuznetsova bt. Jelena Jankovic||6-4, 5-7, 9-7|
|Sorana Cirstea bt. Alison Riske||6-2, 7-6(2)|
Murray’s bid to win a first Australian Open title was given a huge boost on Thursday when Novak Djokovic was shocked in the second round by Denis Istomin.
Per Sporting Intelligence’s Nick Harris, the Scot is now heavy favourite to go all the way following the elimination of the Serb:
Elimination of Djokovic from Aus open makes Sir Andy Murray slight odds-on with bookies to win. First knight to be favourite for a Slam.
— Nick Harris (@sportingintel) January 19, 2017
The Wimbledon champion showed no signs of being pressured by his favourite tag against Querrey.
The American is a tough challenger and shocked Djokovic at SW19 in the third round back in July, but Murray had no trouble in ousting him in Melbourne.
Tight early exchanges gave way to Murray dominance after he saved a break point in the eighth game and then broke straight after to earn the key advantage in the opener.
Querrey only managed to win 57 per cent of points behind his first serve compared to Murray’s 77 per cent, with the Briton’s brilliant returning game proving the difference.
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Kerber was ruthless against Pliskova, winning five of the six break points she earned while losing just one of the three she conceded.
It was a much more confident display from the defending champion on Friday following two tough three-setters in the opening rounds and some inconsistent form in the two tournaments she played in 2017 prior to Melbourne.
As Kerber said after the clash, she is ready to take on American Coco Vandeweghe in the next round, per the Australian Open:
“I’m ready, I’m feeling good.” Angie #Kerber is through to 4R #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/bCzj4RPNXo
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2017
Federer’s next opponent will be Kei Nishikori in the last 16. The Swiss veteran was imperious against Berdych, particularly on his own serve.
He won 95 per cent of points behind his first serve and did not concede a single break point, while he took four of the five he carved out for himself.
Per BBC Sport’s Russell Fuller, it was quite a statement from Federer, 35, who, like Murray, will fancy his chances of going all the way in Melbourne after Djokovic’s exit:
That was jaw droppingly good.
Federer – out of the game for six months -.beats Berdych – out on the court for ninety minutes – 6-2 6-4 6-4
— Russell Fuller (@russellcfuller) January 20, 2017
Due to Federer’s recent injury concerns, he has a relatively low world ranking at the moment and is seeded 17th at the Australian Open.
As a result, he will face Murray in the quarter-finals, assuming they both advance from the fourth round, and the winner of that clash is sure to be favourite to win the title.
Stats courtesy of ATPWorldTour.com and AusOpen.com.