Tennis

Djokovic moves Aussie win streak to 24; Ferrer, Berdych win

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The Sports Network
1/17/2014 3:06:16 AM
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Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Three-time reigning and four-time overall champion Novak Djokovic was a predictable third-round winner Friday at the dangerously hot Australian Open.

A brutal heat wave continued to produce stifling weather, as the temperature climbed as high as 111 degrees on Day 5 at Melbourne Park.

The second-seeded former world No. 1 Djokovic pushed his Aussie Open winning streak to 24 matches with a 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 handling of Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin in just under two hours at Rod Laver Arena.

Djokovic topped British star Andy Murray in last year's finale in Oz and hasn't lost here since 2010, when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga got him in the quarterfinals.

Up next for the six-time major champion will be gritty Italian Fabio Fognini.

Meanwhile, last year's French Open runner-up David Ferrer and former Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych were also among Friday's winners.

Ferrer advanced by beating 29th-seeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 at Laver.

Chardy struggled with an inconsistent service game. He fired eight aces, but committed the same number of double faults and committed 51 unforced errors en route to defeat.

The third-seeded Ferrer has reached at least the round of 16 at 15 straight Grand Slam tournaments, a run that began at Wimbledon in 2010. The steady Spaniard matched his best Australian Open performance last year by reaching the semifinals before losing to the great Djokovic.

Awaiting Ferrer in the fourth round is German Florian Mayer, who dismissed injured 20th-seeded Jerzy Janowicz of Poland in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.

Janowicz later revealed he's been managing an injury, as doctors in Poland advised him not to compete at this tournament due to a broken bone in his foot, which was diagnosed during the this past offseason.

"Before I [left] Poland, [it] was still a little bit broken; was not 100 percent healthy," he said after Friday's loss. "There was still quite a bit inflammation. So all the time I'm taking inflammation pills, and we will see how it's going to be. Anyway it's better than it was before definitely."

The seventh-seeded Berdych, meanwhile, served up 13 aces in a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 victory over qualifier Damir Dzumhur, who was the first man from Bosnia and Herzegovina to play in a Grand Slam event.

The 6-foot-5 Berdych reached the quarterfinals in Melbourne last year, losing to Djokovic.

The Czech's next opponent will be 19th-seeded taller South African Kevin Anderson. The 6-foot-8 Anderson overcame a sluggish start and saved a match point before beating Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5.

A top-10 upset came when 17th-seeded former top-10 star Tommy Robredo of Spain took out ninth-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) in 3 hours, 19 minutes. The resurgent Robredo popped 16 aces en route to the upset.

Robredo's fourth-round opponent will be eighth-seeded Swiss Stan Wawrinka, who advanced via walkover when 28th-seeded Canadian Vasek Pospisil pulled out of the draw on Thursday.

Also on Friday, a 15th-seeded Fognini dismissed American Sam Querrey 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.

The third round will conclude on Saturday, including matches for former champion Rafael Nadal, the three-time Aussie runner-up Murray, four-time titlist Roger Federer, and the 2008 runner-up Tsonga.

The world No. 1 Nadal, who is the reigning U.S. and French Open champion, titled in Melbourne in 2009 and was the Aussie runner-up in 2012, will battle 25th-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils in a rematch of a final two weeks ago in Doha, which was captured by the high-flying Spaniard.

The fourth-seeded reigning Wimbledon champ Murray will take on 26th-seeded Spanish left-hander Feliciano Lopez, while the sixth-seeded former No. 1 and 17-time Grand Slam king Federer will face Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili, and a 10th-seeded Tsonga will be opposed by 18th-seeded fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon.

In some other third-round play on Day 6, 11th-seeded Canadian slugger Milos Raonic will tangle with rising 22nd-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and 16th- seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori will lock horns with American Donald Young.

Novak Djokovic (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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