Big names shine on a cloudy day
Originally published on 20/01/17 00:00
Weather: 19 degrees, cloudy, rain at first
After two tough three-setters in her opening two matches, Angelique Kerber defeated fellow southpaw Kristyna Pliskova 6-0 6-4. “I was feeling very good from the first point, but of course matches like this are always tough to play," said Kerber, who faces American Coco Vandeweghe next.
Andy Murray reached the last 16 of the Australian Open for the ninth straight year, defeating Sam Querrey 6-4 6-2 6-4. Following Murray onto Hisense Arena, Dan Evans beat Bernard Tomic 7-5 7-6(2) 7-6(3) to join his fellow Brit in the fourth round – the first time since 2002 that there have been two British men in the last 16 of a Grand Slam.
With defeat of Jamie Muray and Bruno Soares on Thursday, Dom Inglot is flying the British flag in the men’s doubles with Romanian partner Florian Mergea. Today they beat Julien Benneteau and Jeremy Chardy 3-6 7-6(5) 7-6(2).
Match by match
Stan Wawrinka came through his match against Victor Troicki 3-6 6-2 6-2 7-6(7) to set up a fourth round encounter with Andreas Seppi. Asked about his thoughts on Djokovic's second-round defeat to Denis Istomin, Wawrinka said: “Tennis is always difficult. There's always difficult players every matches. That's why we always focus match by match and not thinking too much of the draw."
No.8 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Jelena Jankovic 6-4 5-7 9-7 in a match on Hisense Arena that lasted three hours and 36 minutes, not as long as her epic encounter with Francesca Schiavone four years ago.
“I was just, in the third set, I felt like Jelena was in total control of the game, but, you know, it's never done until you shake the hand," said Kuznetsova, who faces fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the fourth round.
As a 19-year-old back in 2011, Pavlyuchenkova was ranked as high as world No.13. The Russian admitted feeling tight when trying to close out the match, but converted her fifth match point to beat Elina Svitolina 7-5 4-6 6-3.
A quarter-finalist at last year’s Wimbledon believes that the age of 25 she is now playing some of her best tennis.
“I didn't have the opportunity when I was little or a junior to play on the big stages, like some of the Australians or English, they have an opportunity to get a wildcard or practice or play being surrounded by those big players," she said. "I was really intimidated at the start. I just have more experience and now I am enjoying it."
In reaching the last 16, Coco Vandeweghe has had her best ever result at the Australian Open, but she dismissed suggestions that her 6-4 3-6 7-5 victory over Eugenie Bouchard was one of her best. “So this one isn't that high for me," said the American. "It was kind of expected, in my mind, to get the win and to get the victory and to move a step closer to achieving what I want to achieve for this year and also this tournament.”
Venus Williams reached the last 16 at a fourth straight Grand Slam, and for the 10th time in Melbourne with a 6-1 6-0 win over Duan Ying-Ying. “Oh, yay! It's good," said the 36-year-old. "It's never enough. I've been in the fourth round before. I've tasted it before and it's always a great feeling because it means, hey, I have an opportunity for the quarter-finals. That's what I'm going to go for.”
Women's singles (top half of the draw)
Angelique Kerber (GER)  v Coco Vandeweghe (USA)
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) v Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 
Mona Barthel (GER) v Venus Williams (USA) 
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)  v Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 
Men's singles (top half of the draw)
Andy Murray (GBR)  v Mischa Zverev (GER)
Roger Federer (SUI)  v Kei Nishikori (JPN) 
Stan Wawrinka (SUI)  v Andreas Seppi (ITA)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)  v Dan Evans (GBR)