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Top seeds Kerber, Murray through to fourth round of the Australian Open

World No. 1 Angelique Kerber has advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open with a straight-sets victory over Kristyna Pliskova. The men's top seed, Andy Murray, also progressed.

Angelique Kerber, who struggled at times in her previous matches in the first Grand Slam of the tennis season, needed just 55 minutes to defeat 58th-ranked Krystyna Pliskova 6-0, 6-4 on Friday.

The 29-year-old German, who is looking to defend her first-ever Grand Slam title, is to face the 35th-ranked Coco Vandeweghe in the next round after the American defeated 2014 semifinalist Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

"It's great to have another good match under my belt and to be in the fourth round again here," Kerber told reporters.

"It's great. I'm looking forward to the next one. Yeah, I think that I'm finding my rhythm in the tournament now."

 

The other German woman still in the tournament, Mona Barthel, has reached the round of 16 of a Grand Slam for the first time after she beat Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. She now moves on to face seven-time major winner Venus Williams, who routed Duan Yingying 6-1, 6-0 in under an hour.

Mischa Zverev, Murray advance

Britain's Andy Murray saw off giant-killer Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 in just under two hours as he continued his bid for a first Australian Open title. The Scot, who now moves on to face Mischa Zverev in the fourth round, after the older of the German brothers beat Tunisia's Malek Jaziri, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0, appeared to have no discomfort in his right ankle, after he had rolled it in the previous round.

"I felt better and better as the match went on in terms of my movement," Murray, now the favorite in the men's draw after Novak Djokovic's shock exit on Thursday, said. "I was moving well at the end - it was very positive."

This also happens to be the first time that Mischa Zverev has reached the round of 16 at a Grand Slam. 

Roger Federer, 35, who has just returned to action after an injury layoff, looked pretty much back to his younger self as he humbled Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 in just 90 minutes.      

"In practice things were going well, but I've never been the practice king. I was winning tons of sets," Federer said, adding: "It's been unbelievable. I did surprise myself."

Federer is to face Kei Nishikori in the round of 16.

Federer's Swiss compatriot, Stan Wawrinka, lost his serve twice trying to close out the match before he clinched a four-set victory over Viktor Troicki of Serbia, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (9/7) to advance.

"It was close. Tough tiebreak for sure. Served twice for the match. Doesn't happen often," Wawrinka said.

"But it's not a big deal. At the end I won in four sets. I'm still here. I know I'm playing well, playing better and better."

pfd/hf (dpa, Reuters, AP, AFP)

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