Federer and Djokovic stay in the hunt

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Federer and Djokovic stay in the hunt
Djokovic was convincing in his 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 rout of Spanish 21st seed Albert Ramos-Violas.

Melbourne - Defending champion was never troubled by France's Richard Gasquet, who has failed to take a set off him since 2011, as he steamed into the last 16 with a 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 win

By AFP

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Published: Sat 20 Jan 2018, 8:42 PM

Last updated: Sat 20 Jan 2018, 10:49 PM

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic kept up their relentless march towards a semifinal meeting at the Australian Open on Saturday. The two greats of the game - who have won 11 Australian Opens between them - could meet in the last four if they maintain their winning ways.
Defending champion Federer was never troubled by France's Richard Gasquet, who has failed to take a set off him since 2011, as he steamed into the last 16 with a 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 win.
"The second set was tight, the match was close and I had to focus to the very end," said the Swiss 19-time Grand Slam winner, who next plays little-known Hungarian Marton Fucsovics for a place in the quarterfinals. He added: "So far, so good." The Swiss legend broke Gasquet's serve five times and hit 42 winners with 30 unforced errors. He improved his Australian Open record to 90-13.
Federer is coming off an extraordinary 2017, when he won a fifth Australian Open title and a record eighth at Wimbledon, after returning from an injury lay-off. It was in Melbourne a year ago where he lit the fuse on his late-life tennis renaissance, beating Berdych, Kei Nishikori, Mischa Zverev and Stan Wawrinka before downing great rival Rafael Nadal in a five-set final classic.
Djokovic was equally convincing in his 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 rout of Spanish 21st seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas, although there was concern when he sought a medical timeout for treatment to his lower back. "It was straight sets but I had to earn my points," insisted the Serb, who is on his way back after six months out with right elbow trouble. "Obviously for me it's taking it one match at a time but I have to be more humble with my expectations as I haven't played in the last six months."
He next plays South Korea's Chung Hyeon, who shocked fourth seed Alexander Zverev. With the temperatures a manageable 26 Celsius (79 Farenheit) at Melbourne Park after two days of oven-like conditions, Zverev was beaten in five sets.
Japanese star Naomi Osaka beat Australia's Ashleigh Barty. Sixth seed Karolina Pliskova also had a tough test, beating fellow Czech Lucie Safarova 7-6 (8/6), 7-5. Among the men through was Austrian fifth seed Dominic Thiem and veteran Tomas Berdych, along with American Tennys Sandgren, who had never won a Grand Slam match before this year's Australian Open. 
RESULTS
Men's singles
Third round
Dominic Thiem (AUT x5) bt Adrian Mannarino (FRA x26) 6-4, 6-2, 7-5
Tennys Sandgren (USA) bt Maximilian Marterer (GER) 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (7/5)
Marton Fucsovics (HUN) bt Nicolas Kicker (ARG) 6-3, 6-3, 6-2
Fabio Fognini (ITA x25) bt Julien Benneteau (FRA) 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
Chung Hyeon (KOR) bt Alexander Zverev (GER x4) 5-7, 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 6-3, 6-0
Tomas Berdych (CZE x19) bt Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG x12) 6-3, 6-3, 6-2
Novak Djokovic (SRB x14) bt Albert Ramos (ESP x21) 6-2, 6-3, 6-3
Roger Federer (SUI x2) bt Richard Gasquet (FRA x29) 6-2, 7-5, 6-4
Women's singles
Third round
Karolina Pliskova (CZE x6) bt Lucie Safarova (CZE x29) 7-6 (8/6), 7-5
Madison Keys (USA x17) bt Ana Bogdan (ROM) 6-3, 6-4
Simona Halep (ROM x1) bt Lauren Davis (USA) 4-6, 6-4, 15-13
Caroline Garcia (FRA x8) bt Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 6-3, 5-7, 6-2
Naomi Osaka (JPN) bt Ashleigh Barty (AUS x18) 6-4, 6-2
Barbora Strycova (CZE x20) bt Bernarda Pera (USA) 6-2, 6-2
Angelique Kerber (GER x21) bt Maria Sharapova (RUS) 6-1, 6-3
Hsieh Su-wei TPE) bt Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x26) 6-2, 7-5



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