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Business as usual at Melbourne Park

The self-appointed sports capital of Australia got a feast of tennis on a lazy,sun-drenched Saturday afternoon.

Written by Associated Press | Melbourne |
January 24, 2010 12:01:02 am

The self-appointed sports capital of Australia got a feast of tennis on a lazy,sun-drenched Saturday afternoon. While top seed and three-time champion Roger Federer played Albert Montanes in a Rod Laver Arena crammed with 15,000 fans,top-ranked and Australian Open defending champion Serena Williams took on Carla Suarez Navarro at the neighboring show arena with a retractable roof that seats 10,000.

One hour and 48 minutes and 1:21 later,respectively,Federer and Williams walked off their courts after booking fourth-round matches on Monday. Federer beat Montanes 6-3 6-4 6-4 and Williams defeated Suarez Navarro 6-0 6-3.

Serena’s sister Venus also advanced when she beat Australian wild-card entry Casey Dellacqua 6-1 7-6 (4). The Williams siblings could meet in the semi-finals but Venus must first overcome Francesca Schiavone of Italy,who beat Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-2.

Lleyton Hewitt,advanced when 2006 finalist Marcos Baghdatis had to retire with a right shoulder injury with Hewitt leading 6-0,4-2 in a night match at Rod Laver Arena. The last time they met here,they started just before midnight and finished the match — won by Hewitt — at 4:34 a.m. This Hewitt-Baghdatis rematch lasted just 54 minutes. Hewitt plays Federer in the fourth round.

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Sixth seed Nikolay Davydenko beat Juan Monaco of Argentina 6-0 6-3 6-4 and will face Fernando Verdasco in the next round. Verdasco advanced when Stefan Koubek had to retire after losing the opening set 6-1. No. 3-ranked Novak Djokovic defeated Denis Istomin 6-1 6-1 6-2. Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Tommy Haas of Germany 6-4 3-6 6-1 7-5 in a night match.

Paes-Dlouhy in pre-quarters

Leander Paes remained on course for his second successive Grand Slam title after reaching the men’s doubles pre-quarterfinals with Lukas Dlouhy. The third seeds beat Lucas Arnold of Argentina and Romanian Horia Tecau 7-5 6-3 in the second round.

Other results:

Men: 9-Fernando Verdasco (ESP) bt Stefan Koubek (AUT) 6-1 retd; 6-Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) bt 30-Juan Monaco (ARG) 6-0 6-3 6-4; 1-Roger Federer (SUI) bt 31-Albert Montanes (ESP) 6-3 6-4 6-4; Lukasz Kubot (POL) bt 20-Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) walkover.

Women: 4-Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) bt 29-Shahar Peer (ISR) 6-4 6-0; 16-Li Na (CHN) bt 22-Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 7-5 3-6 6-2; 9-Vera Zvonareva (RUS) bt Gisela Dulko (ARG) 6-1 7-5; 7-Victoria Azarenka (BLR) bt Tathiana Garbin (ITA) 6-0 6-2; 13-Samantha Stosur (AUS) bt Alberta Brianti (ITA) 6-4 6-1

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