World number one Novak Djokovic won through to the Australian Open fourth round on Saturday following a 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Fernando Verdasco at the Rod Laver Arena. Djokovic was out-aced 16-11 and narrowly edged the winners count 43-38. However the Spaniard was criminal on the unforced errors front, committing no fewer than 50 compared to the 24 by the Serb.
Kei Nishikori and David Ferrer were also winners on Day Six in Melbourne. Nishikori used four sets to defeat American Steve Johnson 6-7, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3. Ferrer also required four sets in his victory over Gilles Simon 6-2, 7-5, 5-7, 7-6.
Defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka completed a straight sets surge against Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen in the third roun.. Wawrinka needed only 109 minutes to defeat the Finn 6-4, 6-2, 6-4, while hitting 55 winners in the process. Canada’s Milos Raonic breezed into the fourth round with a comfortable 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 win over Germany’s Benjamin Becker.
The eighth seed needed just 101 minutes as he bombed down 22 aces and hammered homed 46 winners in Melbourne. South Africans will be disappointed as Raven Klaasen and his mixed doubles partner Elina Svitolina were ousted in the first round at the hands of Michaella Krajicek and Florin Mergea 6-1, 6-3 in just 48 minutes. The bad news continued for the country as Lloyd Harris exited the tournament in the junior boys first round after going down in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 to Korea’s fourth seed Yunseong Chung.
Harris will be kicking himself after largely matching the Korean on all scores save for a less than ordinary 38% of first serves that landed in.