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Nadal, Federer, Azarenka in ease, Sharapova jolts into Australia Open third round

English.news.cn   2014-01-16 21:07:28

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates during his men's singles match against Australia's Thanasi Kokkinakis on day four of the 2014 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on Jan. 16, 2014. Nadal won 3-0. (Xinhua/Li Jundong)

MELBOURNE, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Top seed Rafal Nadal breezed past Australia's 17-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis in straight sets to advance into third round of Australia Open on Thursday.

It took Nadal, the 2009 Open champion, just under two hours to trounce native wildcarder, a junior finalist at the Australian and US Opens last year, in 6-2, 6-4 and 6-2.

Sixth-seeded Roger Federer, who is competing in a record 57th straight grand slam, also cruised through to the last 32 in straight-set triumph of 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (4), dispatching Slovakian Blaz Kavcic.

Nadal will next play 25th seed Gael Monfils, who knocked out American Jack Sock 7-6 (2), 7-5, 6-2.

In women's matches, reigning champion Victoria Azarenka romped past Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-1, 6-4 in 88 minutes.

Sharapova was the only one encountering strong challenge among top seeds. The third seed had to squeeze her limit to overcome Italy's Karin Knapp in a match that lasted a tick under three-and-a-half hours.

The 2008 Australian Open champion took the first set in a romp, easily winning it 6-3. But the world No. 44 levelled the match at one set apiece when she stormed back in the second.

The Italian broke Sharapova twice, winning the set 6-4, but it was in the final set that the drama unveiled its charming plot.

The decisive set lasted for 115 minutes, even longer than most of women's matches, ending in 10-8 in the Russian favor. [ "I'm really happy to get through. I really am. I worked really hard in the last few months and I wanted this match. I didn't play my best tennis. I didn't do many things well," said the Russian, who stayed out match for a couple of months for injury last year.

Sharapova next plays French 25th seed Alize Cornet who took out Italy's Camila Giorgi 6-3, 4-6 and 6-4.

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Editor: Tang Danlu
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