Federer, Serena cruise; Robson packs off Kvitova

Federer, Serena cruise; Robson packs off Kvitova

Paes crashes out of mens doubles

Roger Federer and Serena Williams showed there was plenty of life left in their relatively old legs by easing into the third round of the Australian Open on a day when sweltering heat tested the stamina of thirtysomething and teenager alike.

Sunscreen and icepacks were the order of the day on Thursday as temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius in the late afternoon but 31-year-old Federer was coolness personified in the early evening as he dismissed Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

Third seed Williams, also 31, kept her time on court to a minimum as she swept aside Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-0 before Andy Murray, her counterpart in the men’s draw, clinically despatched Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-2, 6-2, 6-4.

Murray’s compatriot Laura Robson ousted Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 2-6, 6-3, 11-9 well past midnight, giving Britain two female players in the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time since 1991.

Women’s defending champion and world number one Victoria Azarenka, 23, proceeded easily enough in the relative cool of the morning with a 6-1, 6-0 thrashing of Greek Eleni Daniilidou.

Any hopes the Belarussian had that Williams, against whom she has a 1-11 record, might be hampered by the ankle she injured on Tuesday were quickly dashed in the next match on Rod Laver Arena, however.

The American, odds-on favourite to de-throne Azarenka and capture a 16th Grand Slam title next week, gave herself a fat lip with her own racket during the first set but was barely troubled otherwise.

Federer, chasing an 18th major title here, will next face 20-year-old Bernard Tomic and the Swiss, who needed a fraction under two hours to beat Davydenko, was quick to warn the Australian that he was probably fitter than 10 years ago. “I’m much more experienced today. I know what I can expect from myself in terms of my level of play early on,” the second seed said. “I’m much stronger today physically clearly so I can always rely on that as well, extend the rallies, so don't have to be worried about that.”

Seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame Japan’s Go Soeda 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 and was joined in the third round by fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet, who beat Colombian Alejandro Falla 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

Frenchman Gael Monfils also progressed but only after double-faulting on four successive match points before finally clinching a 7-6, 4-6, 0-6, 6-1, 8-6 victory over Lu Yen-Hsun of Taiwan.

Veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm, the women’s world number 100, is fast becoming a cult hero at Melbourne Park and she continued her fairytale run with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Israel's Shahar Peer.

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki was also feeling her age after her encounter with Croatian Donna Vekic, which she won witha  6-1, 6-4 verdict.

Paes-Stepanek out

India’s Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek were stunningly knocked out after going down 3-6, 5-7 to South African Kevin Anderson and Israeli Jonathan Erlich in round one.