MELBOURNE: Defending champion Angelique Kerber celebrated her 29th birthday with a gritty win at the Australian Open on Wednesday — and used to be rewarded by way of enthusiasts serenading her on centre court.
the highest seed beat 89th-ranked fellow German Carina Witthoeft however the spherical two win was once some distance from present-wrapped and Kerber needed to overcome a 2nd-set stutter ahead of taking it 6-2, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2.
As an impromptu rendition of “satisfied Birthday” rang out, Kerber, who will next play Czech Kristyna Pliskova, stated she used to be still attending to grips with being world number one.
“To have this force is a privilege. It´s utterly new for me, however I´m doing well. I´m simply seeking to experience it,” she mentioned.
Kerber joined Venus Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova in round three because the Grand Slam-winning veterans enjoyed smooth growth in sunny prerequisites on day three.
within the males´s draw, eastern fifth seed Kei Nishikori marched into the 0.33 round alongside former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, with both successful in straight units.
Nishikori used to be prolonged to five units in his first-spherical win over Andrey Kuznetsov, however he discovered the going a little easier in his 6-three, 6-four, 6-three win over Jeremy Chardy.
alternatively, he stated he hadn´t totally clicked into gear, complaining of “up and down” type after he was once damaged three times with the aid of the 72nd-ranked Frenchman.
“It was too much up and down, too many provider breaks for me, nevertheless it´s nice to win in straight units,” mentioned Nishikori, who had his serve damaged 3 times by using Chardy.
“i am hoping to get my ranking up and i performed a lot better than I did within the first round.”
– ´Zero, like zero´ –
Nishikori, who believes he is due a first major win this year, next plays both Lukas Llacko or Dudi Sela, with Tomas Berdych potentially looking forward to in the fourth spherical.
France´s Tsonga, who is seeded 12th and was once runner-as much as Novak Djokovic in 2008, beat Serbia´s Dusan Lajovic 6-2, 6-2, 6-three to go through.
in the women´s draw, 36-yr-old Williams persevered her smooth growth when she beat qualifier Stefanie Voegele 6-3, 6-2 to arrange a meeting with China´s Duan Yingying.
“I don´t comprehend anything about her. i’ve never considered her play. Zero, like zero,” Williams mentioned of Duan.
Williams, the oldest player in the women´s draw, pulled out of the doubles competitors together with her sister Serena as a precaution to leisure a sore elbow.
Russia´s Kuznetsova thrashed Australian wildcard Jaimee Fourlis 6-2, 6-1 to set up a third-spherical clash with 31-year-outdated Serb Jelena Jankovic.
World number one Andy Murray performs Russia´s 156th-ranked Andrey Rublev for the first time later, as the 5-time runner-up units his sights on finally lifting the trophy.
Roger Federer, 35, has a an identical scenario heading into his first occupation healthy-up with the usa´s Noah Rubin, the 20-yr-outdated world number 200.