The top men’s seeds continued to make trouble-free progress at the Australian Open today as Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Nikolay Davydenko all secured comfortable straight-set wins.
World number one Federer was at his efficient best against 31st seed Albert Montanes as he needed just three breaks of serve, while not allowing a single break point on his own, to win 6-3 6-4 6-4.
“I thought it was dominated from my side with my serve, which allowed me then to take chances on the return,” Federer said.
“(It was a) pretty straightforward match, really. I don’t remember him having any breakpoints.”
Third seed Djokovic could hardly have had an easier win in his career as an error-strewn performance from Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin, the world number 103, allowed the Serbian to take a 6-1 6-1 6-2 in one hour and 37 minutes.
Djokovic said: “He was helping me out with a lot of unforced errors, and basically we didn’t have a lot have long rallies.
“I think at some stage in the tournament you want to have a straight-sets win, an easy win.”
Djokovic is yet to face a seed in the tournament and will next play world number 86 Lukasz Kubot, who was given a walkover win against 20th seed Mikhail Youzhny.
The Russian was forced to pull out on the eve of the match with a wrist injury.
Youzhny’s countryman Davydenko extended his winning run on the tour to 12 matches with an impressive 6-0 6-3 6-4 victory over 30th seed Juan Monaco.
Davydenko won the opening nine games to effectively snuff out the Argentinian’s challenge and has now dropped just 15 games for the whole tournament as he looks to win his first grand slam at the age of 28.
“For sure I want to win now a grand slam here,” Davydenko said.
“If I can keep at this level then maybe I have a chance.
“I am fighting for every point and that’s why maybe it was six-love in the first set and then three-love. I didn’t make any mistake in those nine games.”
Davydenko will next play last year’s semi-finalist and ninth seed Fernando Verdasco, who was also a beneficiary of a retirement against qualifier Stefan Koubek.
The 33-year-old Austrian was trailing 6-1 when he withdrew due to illness.
Spain’s Nicolas Almagro reached the Australian Open fourth round for the first time with a 6-4 6-3 6-4 win against Colombian Alejandro Falla.
Almagro, the 26th seed, will play the winner of tonight’s match between Tommy Haas and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The other match this evening on Rod Laver Arena is between Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis in a replay of their marathon five-set match at Melbourne Park two years ago which finished at 4.30am – the latest-ever finish at a grand slam.