Four-time champion Roger Federer rolled into the fourth round of the Australian Open, losing seven games in a straight-set victory as the heat broke at the season’s first Grand Slam tennis tournament.
Fourth-seeded Andy Murray also won, while Maria Sharapova and Sloane Stephens advanced to the women’s fourth round as Melbourne temperatures remained in the mid-70s (mid-20s Celsius) after four straight days of searing heat.
Switzerland’s Federer, the sixth seed, won 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 against unseeded Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia in one hour, 41 minutes at Rod Laver Arena. Federer, who has a men’s record 17 Grand Slam singles titles, made 18 unforced errors in the match.
“Right now I feel very fresh and very good physically,” Federer said in a news conference. “I’m happy that I’m winning my matches in straight sets. It’s been different conditions every match -- the heat first, and the indoor match and now normal conditions today with a bit of wind.”
Murray, from the U.K., a three-time Australian Open finalist who had September back surgery, won 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-2 against No. 26 Feliciano Lopez of Spain.
Sharapova, who is seeded third, won 6-1, 7-6 (8-6) against No. 25 Alize Cornet of France. Sharapova, from Russia, is a former Australian Open winner, having captured the championship in Melbourne in 2008.
Stephens, an American seeded 13th who reached the Australian Open semifinals last year, won 7-5, 6-4 against unseeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.
Joining Sharapova and Stephens in the round of 16 were No. 5 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland, No. 8 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia and No. 11 Simona Halep of Romania. No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark was ousted, losing in three sets to unseeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain.
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