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Australian Open Day Four Highlights: Top seed Halep fends off Kenin, Djokovic advances

  • Published at 04:21 am January 18th, 2019
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Simona Halep in action during the match against Sofia Kenin during day four of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Thursday Reuters

Highlights of Thursday's fourth day of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year

Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep advanced to the Australian Open third round on Thursday but Halep was made to work hard for her win over American Sofia Kenin.

Djokovic produced a clinical display to put away Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 7-5 6-4 in a repeat of the 2008 final at Melbourne Park.

It was the 31-year-old Serb's 16th consecutive win on the Grand Slam stage and he will next face Canadian youngster Denis Shapovalov.

Halep was cruising to victory after leading by a set and a break but Kenin roared back to edge the second set in a tiebreak.

Despite going down a break in the decider, Halep kept her composure to prevail 6-3 6-7(5) 6-4.

It is the first time since Wimbledon in 2009 that all of the women's top eight seeds have reached the third round at a Grand Slam.

Serena Williams needed just 70 minutes to swat aside Canada's Eugenie Bouchard 6-2 6-2 as she continued her quest for a record 24th Grand Slam title.

Twice Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza overcame Britain's Johanna Konta 6-4 6-7(3) 7-5 in a marathon match that finished after 0300 local time. The Spaniard will next face two-times finalist Venus Williams.

Alexander Zverev survived a scare as he held off Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in a 7-6(5) 6-4 5-7 6-7(6) 6-1 victory.

POPYRIN THROUGH AS THIEM RETIRES

Australian wildcard Alexei Popyrin advanced to the third round after seventh seed Dominic Thiem retired from the contest while trailing 7-5 6-4 2-0.

CHUNG STUNNED BY HERBERT

Last year's semi-finalist Chung Hyeon, seeded 24th, was knocked out by unseeded Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2 1-6 6-2 6-4. Frenchman Herbert meets Milos Raonic next.

RAONIC OVERCOMES WAWRINKA

Canada's Milos Raonic dropped the first set but recovered to beat Stan Wawrinka 6-7(4) 7-6(6) 7-6(11) 7-6(5) in a contest that lasted just over four hours.

PLAY UNDERWAY AFTER RAIN DELAY

Action resumed on the main showcourts at Melbourne following a short spell of rain.

OSAKA SAILS THROUGH

U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka powered past unseeded Slovenian Tamara Zidansek 6-2 6-4. She plays Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei in the next round.

RAIN DELAY IN MELBOURNE

Play was suspended at the Australian Open due to rain. Stan Wawrinka and 16th seed Milos Raonic were locked at 4-4 in the third set having claimed one set apiece in their second round encounter on Rod Laver Arena.

NISHIKORI MADE TO WORK HARD FOR WIN OVER KARLOVIC

Kei Nishikori was dragged into a five-setter for the second match in a row but the eighth seed dug deep to beat Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic 6-3 7-6(6) 5-7 5-7 7-6(7).

The Japanese looked in control after taking a two-set lead but the 39-year-old Karlovic did not back down and levelled the contest. Nishikori held his nerve in a tight decider to prevail in three hours and 48 minutes.

SEVASTOVA BATTLES PAST ANDREESCU

U.S. Open semi-finalist Anastasija Sevastova overcame a mid-match blip to defeat Canadian qualifier Bianca Andreescu 6-3 3-6 6-2 and advance to the third round. The 13th seed takes on China's Wang Qiang next.