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Federer, Murray Unruffled on Day 4

Roger Federer and Andy Murray stayed cool in the scorching heat on Day 4, as both recorded straight-set wins to reach the third round.

By Chris Oddo

Roger Federer, Australian Open 2013 (January 17, 2013) -- Roger Federer brushed aside an in-form Nikolay Davydenko, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, and Andy Murray kept his end of the bargain with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Joao Sousa of Brazil in day 4 action on Thursday in Melbourne.

Federer won his 18th decision in 20 career battles against his fellow 31-year-old, keeping the Russian from getting a sniff at a break point and getting the better of the many scintillating rallies that occurred over the course of the one hour and fifty-nine minute tussle.

Federer struck 35 winners to Davydenko's 17, and he converted on 3 of 13 break points to set up a highly anticipated third-round encounter with the last Aussie standing, Bernard Tomic.

"I guess he's learned a lot in the last year," Federer said of his next opponent, who defeated Daniel Brands of Germany in a serving battle that kept the packed house at Rod Laver Arena on the edge of their seats and in full throat throughout.

Tomic's 6-7(4), 7-5, 7-6(3), 7-6(8) decision over the qualifier featured a career-best 26 aces from the 20-year-old. He needed everyone of them, as he squandered 8 match points and washed pushed to the brink by Brands before finally closing him out in a tense fourth-set tiebreaker.

"A set down I didn't feel too good," Tomic said afterwards. "He was serving really good, it was difficult, so I'm happy in the end I won because he had opportunities to win."

Tomic made it abundantly clear that he'd have to step it up against Roger Federer if he hoped to advance any further in the draw down under.

"I definitely got my ass kicked both times," he said of his two losses to the Swiss maestro in 2012.

Most top seeds made there way through the draw without much resistance on day four, as 3rd-seeded Andy Murray, 6th-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, 7th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and 9th-seeded Richard Gasquet all cruised in straight-set victories.

Murray did not face a break point against Souza, pitching in 14 aces and 28 winners in a one-sided rout over the Brazilian in stifling mid-afternoon heat.

Del Potro, who took the court in the early evening, blasted past Benjamin Becker of Germany assertively, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2, knocking back the only break point he faced and hammering 22 aces in the process.

12th-seeded Marin Cilic and 13th-seeded Milos Raonic continued the parade of high seeds on Thursday as each advanced with relative ease. Raonic took out Lukas Rosol 7-6(2), 6-2, 6-3, and Cilic sailed past American Rajeev Ram 7-5, 6-2, 6-4.

The only seeds to fall on day 4 were 25th-seeded Florian Mayer, who was knocked off by Lithuanian qualifier Ricardis Berankis, and 30th-seeded Marcel Granollers who fell to Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in four sets.

Berankis, playing in his first Grand Slam since the 2011 Australian Open, will look to continue his run against Murray in round three. Chardy, who had been knocked out in the first round in his last three Australian Open appearances, will face Del Potro next.

In one of the more entertaining matches of the day, Gael Monfils got by Yen-Hsun Lu 7-6(5), 4-6, 0-6, 6-1, 8-6 after double-faulting on match point four times.

(Photo Credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve)


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