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Federer Reaches 4th Round of Australian Open; Sharapova Wins

Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- 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.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Gloster in San Francisco at rgloster@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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