Australian Open | Paes-Raja advance to next round, Federer, Djokovic reach third round

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Australian Open | Paes-Raja advance to next round, Federer, Djokovic reach third round

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SportsCafe Desk

01/18/2018

Leander Paes and partner Purav Raja beat Nikoloz Basilashvili and Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-2, 6-3 in the opening round of the Australian Open. The likes of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Juan Del Potro along with women's World No.1 Simona Halep progressed to the next round of the tournament.

The scorching temperatures in Melbourne where it peaked at 39.9 degrees Celsius as Commentators claimed temperatures on the court were even higher, soaring to 60 degrees Celsius made it a formidable task for the players to go out and give their all in a bid to reach the finals of the tournament.

Paes along with his partner Raja, made strides in their campaign as they defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili and Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-2, 6-3 in the opening round. They have a tough job at hand as now they will be up against fifth-seed Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, one of the most consistent teams in the previous season. 

Fellow Indians Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan along with their respective partners also managed to scrape through to the next round of the men's doubles in Melbourne.

In the singles' section, Federer made it two wins in two after he overcame German Jan-Lennard Struff with a 6-4 6-4 7-6 victory. The 36-year-old will next play French veteran Richard Gasquet, whom he has beaten 16 of the 18 times they’ve played.

Novak Djokovic, who made his comeback after struggling with a shoulder injury in the latter half of 2017, battled through the soaring heat as he beat Frenchman Gael Monfils 4-6 6-3 6-1 6-3 in an eventful encounter between the pair. The Frenchman suffered a heat stroke during the game as he took a time-out of 40 mins before resuming his play.

Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro progressed to the third round of the Australian Open on Thursday after a hard-fought match against Karen Khachanov. The 21-year old put up a tough fight but ultimately bowed out of the competition after losing to del Potro 6-4, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4.

In the women's singles category, top-ranked Simona Halep edged out the Canadian Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 6-2 in their second round match in Melbourne on Thursday. Bouchard’s loss means that 2 out of 3 top ranked Canadians have now been knocked out of the tournament.

Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza struggled with the heat and against Hsieh Su-wei’s game, losing 7-6 (1), 6-4 on Day 4 as the upsets intensified at the Australian Open. No. 3-ranked Muguruza was the highest-ranked player to fall so far but follows Venus Williams and U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens out of the tournament in the first week.

Meanwhile former world number one, Maria Sharapova advanced to the third round with a 6-1, 7-6 (4) win over No. 14-seeded Anastasija Sevastova.

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