Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray dominated third-round opponents in straight sets Saturday to move into the second week of the Australian Open as the first major of the season settled into the business end of the fortnight.
Federer took 90 minutes to overpower Teymurez Gabashvili 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 in the third round. It was the four-time Melbourne winner’s 17th straight victory against a Russian opponent.
The 17-time grand slam champion Swiss is aiming for a fifth title at Melbourne Park, which would put him alongside Roy Emerson, who went on to win his sixth in 1967.
Federer will next play 10th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat Gilles Simon 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-2.
Nadal defused the explosive game of showman Gael Monfils 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 to send the Frenchman out for a fifth straight year in the third round.
“This was a big test, today I played my best match of this year here, It was very emotional to play here again after missing last year, especially in a night session,” the 2009 winner Nadal said.
Murray, seeded fourth, lined up a match with number 119 Stephane Robert, 33, after the French qualifying lucky loser earned beat Martin Klizan 6-0, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4. Murray defeated Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-2.
Federer won with six aces, 35 winners and breaks on five of 14 chances against the outclassed Gabashvili.
“It’s just good to get through and get a good feel out there and make sure if you’ve got a chance to win your matches easier to do so,” said Federer. “That’s what I was able to do today, so I’m pleased.
“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.
“I don’t play 30 events during the year, so I really get up for the ones that I am playing and I’m eager to play. If I don’t have that motivation, then it’s better not to play the tournament. I don’t have those problems.”
Grigor Dimitrov beat 11th seed Milos Raonic 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (12-10) in a “next-gen” face-off between two rising talents, with Raonic firing 21 aces and saving four match points before exiting.
Sixth seed Kei Nishikori will play Nadal after beating the last American in the field, Donald Young, 7-5, 6-1, 6-0. Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, who put out fifth seed Juan Del Potro in the second round, knocked out Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-1, 6-4.