It was a quiet third day of the Australian Open as a walkover for four-times champion Roger Federer and relatively comfortable victories for the top women meant that fans of the top players could draw breath ahead of the big clashes that will decide the destination of the titles.
Federer had been due to play Andreas Beck, but didn’t even have to walk on to court to claim his third round place after the German withdrew with a back injury. Federer now faces an awkward third round match in the shape of the giant Croatian Ivo Karlović.
2009 champion and second seed Rafael Nadal had to work a little harder to progress, winning 6-4 6-3 6-4 against former semi-finalist Tommy Haas. The Spaniard, who suffered a knee injury before the tournament, seemed glad of the chance to prove his fitness, saying: “I’m very happy about how it [his knee] improves; I’m able to play without a problem.” Nadal faces Slovakia’s Lukáš Lacko in round three.
The biggest shock of the day was Alejandro Falla’s defeat of US Number 1 Mardy Fish in straight sets, 7-6 6-3 7-6. Though perhaps spectators shouldn’t have been too surprised with his loss, as that eighth seed Fish had fallen at this stage in each of the previous two tournaments.
In the women’s draw top seed and World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki laboured slightly in beating Georgia’s Anna Tatishvili 6-1 7-6 . It had looked like another regulation victory for the popular Dane, but Tatishvili staged a late fight-back to give the Wimbledon champion a late scare.
Defending champion Kim Clijsters despatched Stéphanie Foretz Gacon 6-0 6-1 to set up an intriguing third round match with Daniela Hantuchová. The Belgian was never troubled in her win, as she let her competitors know that they’ll have to be at their best to prise the Daphne Akhurst trophy from her grasp.
The biggest faller amongst the women’s seeds was tenth seed Francesca Schiavone, who was visibly disappointed after losing to compatriot Romina Oprandi 6-4 6-3. “It was a really bad match,” she said.