Federer, Nadal advance to 3rd round at Australian Open

Roger Federer, chasing a men's record seventh Australian title, won 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-3 over Daniel Evans at the Australian Open, while Rafael Nadal beat Matthew Ebden 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to move to No. 3 on the list of match wins at the Aussie event in the professional era.

American Tiafoe shocks 5th-seeded Anderson

Roger Federer had a tougher match than most anticipated but still moved on at the Australian Open on Wednesday. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Roger Federer, chasing a men's record seventh Australian title, won 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-3 Daniel Evans at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

The father of- four clearly takes workplace safety seriously.

A sprinkling of rain over Rod Laver Arena during the first set of his second-round match prompted the question from the chair umpire as to whether the weather was OK to keep playing in.

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It was 4-4 and defending champion Federer was serving at 40-15. Asked if it was playable, the 20-time major winner wiped his brow and replied in the negative.

"It's always playable until a leg gets broken," he said. "I'd rather wait a little bit."

He wasn't joking, although he conceded he couldn't hear what Evans had to say about it.

"I asked him, 'Do you want to keep playing?' The first time we decided not to play because the lines were already slippery," Federer said. They stopped for five minutes.

There was the prospect of second rain delay, this time at deuce on Evans' serve.

"If he was willing to play, I was willing to play, too. I wanted to give the choice to him," Federer said. "He was laughing because it was deuce, not 40-15 that time. He was maybe feeling like I wanted to take advantage of the situation. I really didn't."

WATCH | Roger Federer wins in straight sets:

Roger Federer defeated Daniel Evans 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-3 in the second round at the Australian Open in Melbourne. 1:16

Nadal cruised into 3rd round

Rafael Nadal picked apart second round opponent Matthew Ebden 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to move to No. 3 on the list of match wins at the Australian Open in the professional era, and extended his record of never losing a second-round match at Melbourne Park.

The win improved 2009 champion Nadal's win-loss record to 57-12 at the Australian Open, surpassing Stefan Edberg's mark of 56 wins.

The second seed overcame an early first-set challenge from the Australian, who should have secured a break-of-serve with the scores locked at 3-3.

Ebden missed a backhand volley off an unexceptional passing shot — and it proved costly.

The Australian was broken the next game, succumbing with a double-fault, and the Spaniard went through the broken line of defense.

"I started a little bit slow ... then I saved that game at three-all," Nadal said.

"After that, things changed. I think I played well."

The 17-times Grand Slam winner was never seriously challenged again, and moved seamlessly into the third round where he will play either Alex de Minaur or Henri Laaksonen

Anderson ousted

Two-time Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson let a sizeable lead slip away amid problems with his serving arm and lost to 20-year-old Frances Tiafoe 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.

The No. 5-seeded Anderson was the runner-up at Wimbledon last year and the U.S. Open in 2017 and had won all three previous matchups against the 39th-ranked Tiafoe.

But after trailing by a set and 3-0 in the second, Tiafoe turned this match around to get to the third round at a major for the second time.

"I went to a different place. I dug insanely deep," the 39th-ranked Tiafoe said. "It's all about competing. Guys are so good. It's just about how badly you want it. I want it real bad." 

Anderson received repeated visits from a trainer for his bothersome right arm.

Marin Cilic capped a 25-ace performance with a pair to serve out a second-round victory, beating 81st-ranked Mackenzie McDonald of the U.S. 7-5, 6-7 (9), 6-4, 6-4.

Cilic was the runner-up here to Roger Federer last year and is seeded No. 6 this time.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is closer to a potential meeting with defending champion Roger Federer.

The Greek 20-year-old beat Viktor Troicki 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 but wasted a lot of break-point opportunities as the Serbian player saved 15 of 19 chances created by Tsitsipas.

Considered one of the new breed of young talented players on the ATP Tour, Tsitsipas won at Stockholm last year and was a finalist in two other tournaments.

He will next play 19th-seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili, who beat Stefano Travaglie 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, also on Wednesday. Tsitsipas could play Federer in the fourth round.

Defending champion Wozniacki advances

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki has advanced to the third round of the only Grand Slam tournament she's won, beating Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-3 at Melbourne Park.

Wozniacki beat Simona Halep in the final last year at Melbourne Park for her first major singles title.

The Danish player will next play Maria Sharapova. Sharapova, whose five major titles include the 2008 Australian Open, had a 6-2, 6-1 win over Rebecca Peterson in Wednesday's last match.

WATCH | Caroline Wozniacki  beats Johanna Larsson:

2018 champion Caroline Wozniacki advanced to the third round of the Australian Open after beating Johanna Larsson 6-1, 6-3 at Melbourne Park. 1:05

Stephens cruises past Babos

Sloane Stephens took a 6-3, 6-1 win over her former junior doubles partner Timea Babos.

Babos faced 23 break points and managed to save 18 of them, otherwise the match would have been over quicker than its elapsed time of 1 hour, 35 minutes.

The fifth-seeded Stephens, who won the 2017 U.S. Open, captured junior doubles titles with Babos at the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2010.

Stephens will next play Petra Martic.

In other early women's matches, No. 19-seeded Caroline Garcia defeated Zoe Hives 6-3, 6-3, Aliaksandra Sasnovich beat 20th-seeded Anett Kontaveit 6-3, 6-3 and 31st-seeded Martic beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-4, 7-5.

American teenager Amanda Anisimova advanced with a 6-0, 6-2 win over 24th-seeded Lesia Tsurenko.

The brightest local hope for an Australian Open women's title in decades is through to the third round. Ashleigh Barty beat Wang Yafan 6-2, 6-3 in a Rod Laver Arena match.

The 15th-seeded Barty was a finalist at last week's Sydney International, beating No. 1-ranked Simona Halep along the way.

The last Australian winner of the Australian Open's women's singles title was Chris O'Neill in 1978.


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