01/20 06:28 CST Federer joins Murray in 4th round at Australian Open
Federer joins Murray in 4th round at Australian Open
By JOHN PYE
AP Sports Writer
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) --- Roger Federer showed against 10th-seeded Tomas
Berdych that his first two wins against qualifiers at the Australian Open
really were warmups.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion, seeded a lowly-by-his-standards 17th after
spending six months on the sidelines last season, only needed 90 minutes to
beat Berdych 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 in the third round on Friday night.
This was against a rival who played the Wimbledon final in 2010 and reached the
quarterfinals or better in Australia the previous six years. And he'd beaten
Federer in six of their previous 22 matches.
Federer hit some vintage backhand winners, one that earned a hearty applause
from the great Rod Laver --- sitting in the crowd at the stadium named in his
honor --- in the second set. He had 40 winners and won 95 percent of points
when he got his first serve into play.
He next plays fifth-ranked Kei Nishikori, who beat Lukas Lacko 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to
reach the fourth round for a sixth straight year at Melbourne Park. Federer
leads that matchup 4-2, winning the last three.
The winner of that has a potential quarterfinal against top-ranked Andy Murray,
who showed no signs of trouble with his sore ankle as he advanced to the Round
of 16 for the ninth straight year with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win over No. 31 Sam
It was Querrey who ended then No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic's impressive Grand
Slam run in the third round at Wimbledon last year. At that time, Djokovic had
won four straight major titles --- Wimbledon and U.S. Open in 2015 and
Australian Open and French Open in 2016.
Murray, who replaced Djokovic at No. 1 last November, said he was surprised at
the six-time Australian Open champion's second-round loss to Denis Istomin the
But the five-time Australian Open runner-up didn't think it changed anything
for him, unless he reached the final.
"I wasn't scheduled to play Novak today, so my job's to concentrate on Sam and
to go into that match with a clear head and a good game plan and try to play
well," said Murray, who lost to Djokovic in four of the five finals he has
contested in Melbourne. "I did that.
"Obviously, if you're to get to the final, then it has an effect."
Murray injured his right ankle in the second round, and said he was hesitant at
first but warmed into the match against Querrey.
"I felt better and better as the match went on in terms of my movement," Murray
said. "I was moving well at the end --- it was very positive."
Murray next plays Mischa Zverev, who had a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 win over Malek
Seven-time major winner Venus Williams routed Duan Yingying 6-1, 6-0 in less
than an hour to progress to the fourth round for the 10th time since her
Australian Open debut in 1998.
"It's good (but) it's never enough," she said, looking ahead to her
fourth-round match against Mona Barthel. "I've tasted it before and it's always
a great feeling because it means, hey, I have an opportunity for the
quarterfinals. That's what I'm going to go for."
The last two Americans in the men's draw lost within an hour of each other.
After Querrey's exit, No. 23-seeded Jack Sock lost 7-6 (4), 7-5, 6-7 (8), 6-3
to No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
There are no more Australians in the men's draw, either, after Daniel Evans
beat Bernard Tomic 7-5, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3).
U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka was twice broken while serving for the match
before finishing off a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (7) win over Viktor Troicki.
Wawrinka, the 2014 Australian Open winner, will next play Andreas Seppi, who
beat Steve Darcis 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1), 7-6 (2).
Angelique Kerber had a straight-sets win for the first time in her first
Australian Open title defense, 6-0, 6-4 against Kristyna Pliskova. Top-ranked
Kerber will next play 35th-ranked CoCo Vandeweghe, who reached the fourth round
in Australia for the first time with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 win over 2014 semifinalist
Two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova held off former No. 1-ranked Jelena
Jankovic 6-4, 5-7, 9-7 in 3 hours. She next plays No. 24 Anastasia
Pavlyuchenkova, who beat No. 11 Elina Svitolina 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
Australian Open organizers were briefed by Victoria state police over an
incident in downtown Melbourne where a man deliberately drove into a street
crowded with pedestrians, killing three people and injuring 20. Police said the
incident, about three kilometers (two miles) from Melbourne Park, had no links
"Be assured there is no threat to the precinct," Australian Open organizers
said in a statement.