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Federer, Murray advance to third round at Aussie Open

The Sports Network

1/17/2013 9:34:23 AM

MELBOURNE, Australia -- With the sun setting at the end of a torridly hot day at the Australian Open, Roger Federer ensured he made the most of a favourable evening draw.

Wearing bright pink shoelaces, Federer advanced to the third round with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Russian Nikolay Davydenko on Thursday.

The 17-Grand Slam champion was a winner of sorts before he even stepped out at Rod Laver Arena, having received the luck of the draw -- a 7 p.m. start time after the worst of the 41-degree Celsius (106 Fahrenheit) heat had subsided.

"I'm very happy to have played so well against him," Federer said of his 18th win over Davydenko in their 20 matches.

Other championship contenders in the men's draw including Andy Murray had to withstand the high temperatures which aren't unusual for this time of year in Melbourne, but still not conducive to long matches.

U.S. Open champion Murray won routinely, beating Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 on Hisense Arena, the second show court at Melbourne Park.

"You need to be the one that's trying to dictate the points in these conditions," said Murray, who practices in Florida. "Miami is the perfect preparation. It's hot and humid there, although it certainly doesn't get up to 37 degrees (Celsius; 99 Fahrenheit). It was a good match to get done in straight sets. "

Murray, who ended a 76-year drought by British men in Grand Slam tournaments with his win at Flushing Meadows last year, didn't allow Sousa a single break-point chance.

"When the sun came out, it was extremely hot. When it wasn't, it was fine. There was no humidity," he said, playing down the impact of the hot conditions. "When you get the combination of the heat and the humidity is when it's normally at its worst. I've played in worse conditions."

Among the other men advancing were sixth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, who beat Benjamin Becker 6-2, 6-4, 6-2, and 2008 Australian finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who pretended to do pushups to disguise a fall during his 6-3, 7-6 (1), 6-3 win over Japan's Go Soeda.

Australia's Bernard Tomic went through to the third round along with No. 9 Richard Gasquet, No. 13 Milos Raonic of Canada, No. 17 Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, No. 21 Andreas Seppi of Italy and Lithuanian qualifier Ricardas Berankis, who beat No. 25 Florian Mayer 6-2, 6-3, 6-1.

Tomic beat Novak Djokovic at the Hopman Cup and won last week's Sydney International, his first ATP tournament victory. He has won 10 matches in a row and has held 76 consecutive service games through that stretch.

He'll face Federer in the third round on Sunday, a rematch of their fourth-round match last year.

"We'll know each other a bit better this time around," said Federer, who had two lopsided wins over Tomic in 2012.

Gael Monfils improbably advanced to the third round with a five-set win over Taiwan's Lu Yen-hsun despite the Frenchman having 23 double faults, including three on match point. Fortunately, Monfils also had 29 aces in the 7-6 (5), 4-6, 0-6, 6-1, 8-6 win.