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16 Jan, 2019 15:46

Australian Open day 3: Sharapova, Nadal, Federer remain in contention for Grand Slam title

Australian Open day 3: Sharapova, Nadal, Federer remain in contention for Grand Slam title

The third day of the Australian Open championship didn’t bring any sensations or unpredictable results, with all the title contenders successfully breezing through to the third round.

Swiss tennis icon Roger Federer needed two and a half hours to break down the tenacious resistance of his British rival Dan Evans who fought for every point in the two opening sets.

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Evans was two points away from taking the first set in the tie-break, but lost momentum allowing his more-experienced and well-decorated opponent to claim victory.

Another tie-break was needed to determine the winner of the second set where the 37-year-old Swiss took the upper hand again.

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The third set was not as nerve-wracking as had been expected with Federer calmly taking a 6-3 win to seal his place in the third round of the Australian Open.

Russia’s Maria Sharapova also propelled to the third round recording a confident 6-2, 6-1 win over Rebecca Peterson of Sweden.

The 31-year-old who won the Australian Open in 2008 has dropped just three games in her first two matches in Melbourne.

However, the third-round clash will not be a walk in the park for the 30th seed Sharapova who set up a meeting with none other than the reigning Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal didn’t experience any trouble in reaching the third round in Melbourne, easily cruising past the host of the court Matthew Ebden 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

He will next face another Aussie, Alex de Minaur, who survived a five-set thriller against Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen.

Russia’s rising star Karen Khachanov also made it to the third round beating Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in three straight sets 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

In the next round of action the world number 11 will face Spain’s Roberto Bautista who eliminated Andy Murray from the tournament.

Last year, Khachanov won the Paris Masters beating the top seed Novak Djokovic in the final.

German second seed Angelique Kerber easily ousted Brazilian qualifier Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2, 6-3 to continue the battle for the Grand Slam title while Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova surprisingly upset ninth seed Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to stroll into the third round.