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Ferrer, Wawrinka, Berdych advance

By Chris Pike
19 January 2013 12:43AM EST

DAVID Ferrer, Stanislas Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych have cruised into the fourth round of the Australian Open with convincing straight-set wins on Friday night.

Following the likes of Novak Djokovic, Kevin Anderson, Janko Tipsarevic, Kei Nishikori and Nicolas Almagro winning through to the fourth round during the day on Friday, Ferrer, Wawrinka and Berdych all won in straight-sets during the night.

World No.5 Ferrer comfortably beat 28th seed and former finalist Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 with the fifth seeded Berdych having little trouble against 26th seed Austrian Jurgen Melzer winning 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 and Swiss Wawrinka was too good for big American Sam Querrey in three tight sets, prevailing 7-6 (6), 7-5, 6-4.

Ferrer and Baghdatis followed up on Rod Laver Arena from Maria Sharapova's thumping of Venus Williams earlier in the night, and the Spaniard showed that he could very well make a run towards his first Grand Slam in Melbourne.

The 30-year-old Spaniard is coming into the Australian Open fresh off winning the title in Auckland for a fourth time and after making four semi finals in Grand Slam events previously, he will be desperate to try to be the player to take advantage of no Rafael Nadal in Melbourne this year.

Ferrer had little trouble accounting for Baghdatis, who battled manfully in a place he has such fond memories of having made the final in 2006, and he was glad to get through a match he had expected to be tough.

"I played my best match of this week. To beat Marcos I needed to play my best tennis and I did," he said.

Ferrer will next face Nishikori in the fourth round after the Japanese world No. 18 beat Russia's Evgeny Donskoy in three sets on Friday.

On Hisense Arena on Friday night, Berdych showed that like Ferrer who could be ready to take the next step at this Australian Open cruising past Melzer in three comfortable sets.

Berdych, unlike Ferrer, has made one Grand Slam final that he lost to Nadal at Wimbledon in 2010, and put on a clinic against the Austrian with 42 winners to 26, 19 unforced errors to 29, 12 aces to three and 97 points won to just 61 from Melzer.

Berdych will now face big-serving South African Anderson in the next round after he beat Fernando Verdasco in five tough sets earlier in the day on Friday.

The other evening match was on Margaret Court Arena and it proved to be a battle of servers with Wawrinka prevailing over Querrey in three tight sets.

There were no breaks of serve throughout almost the first two whole sets. Wawrinka prevailed in the first set tie-break eight points to six, and then it took until the end of the second set for the Swiss 15th seed to break the big Americans serve to take the set 7-5.

Wawrinka then wrestled control earlier in the third set winning it 6-4 for him to advance to the fourth round where he will take on the daunting task of the world No. 1 Djokovic.

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