Photo: Argentina's Del Potro Joins Federer, Murray in Aussie 3rd Round
Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Scotland’s Andy Murray both cruised into the third round of the Australian Open with straight-set victories Thursday.
In a battle of 31-year-olds, Federer used his superior power and variety to brush aside Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in just under two hours and run his record against the Russian to a lopsided 18-2.
His victory sets up an eagerly awaited third-round showdown against Australian 20-year-old Bernard Tomic, who edged German Daniel Brands 6-7 (4-7), 7-5, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (10-8) in a match that featured just one service break in nearly three hours.
Tomic is not short on confidence and cheekily suggested earlier this week that the world No. 2, who has reached 34 consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals dating back to Wimbledon 2004, might not even reach the third round.
That remark and the fact that the Australian has not lost a match to start the 2013 season, including a win over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the Hopman Cup event in Perth, Australia, will surely mean a very focused Federer will take the court on Saturday.
Federer handily defeated Tomic 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in the round of 16 of the 2012 Australian Open.
Murray, meanwhile, was never in danger in a 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 win over Portugal’s Joao Sousa. Throughout the match, the world No. 3 and reigning U.S. Open champion exhibited the more aggressive baseline style that led to a breakthrough season in 2012.
In other action Thursday on the men’s side of the draw, Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro also breezed into the third round with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 win over Germany’s Benjamin Becker.