Djokovic and Williams target fourth-round spots

Published 01/21/2016, 9:36 AM EST
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic stretches to hit a shot during his second round match against France’s Quentin Halys at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 20, 2016. REUTERS/Jason O’Brien


MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Defending champions Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams are back in action at the Australian Open on Friday with comfortable looking hurdles to overcome to reach the fourth round.

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Top seed Djokovic, untroubled so far as he seeks a sixth Australian Open title, takes on Italian 28th seed Andreas Seppi having beaten him in all 11 of their previous meetings.

Williams resumes her pursuit of a seventh crown at Melbourne Park against Russia’s Daria Kasatkina after fifth seed Maria Sharapova takes on 22-year-old American Lauren Davis.

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Djokovic will be happy to be back on court after his serene progress was interrupted in his post-match media conference on Tuesday when he was forced to deny allegations in an Italian newspaper about match-fixing in 2007.

He will be wary though as Seppi beat Roger Federer at exactly the same round of last year’s Australian Open.

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Federer, the 17-times grand slam champion, meets 27th seed Grigor Dimitrov, who was once labelled “Baby Federer”.

He will look to record a landmark 300th grand slam win, becoming the first man in history to achieve the feat.

Women’s fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, still searching for a first grand slam title, faces Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig while Japan’s Ken Nishikori, seeded seventh, starts things off on the Margaret Court Arena against Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

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A day after Lleyton Hewitt’s final bow, one of Australia’s big new hopes, Nick Kyrgios, takes on sixth seed Tomas Berdych in what promises to be a raucous night session.

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; editing by Martyn Herman)

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Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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