With Lleyton Hewitt and Bernard Tomic both bowing out of the Australian Open on Tuesday, South Africa-born West Australian Matt Ebden was the last Australian man left in the draw who wasn’t a teenager, but he also was bundled out on Wednesday night on Rod Laver Arena.
The 26-year-old got off to a terrific start against 28th-seeded Canadian Vasek Pospisil winning the first set before the next two sets both went to a tie-break and were tough affairs.
Pospisil prevailed in the first tie-break eight points to six in a second set that lasted exactly an hour before the Canadian then went up two sets to one when he won the third set tie-break 11 points to nine with that set lasting another 49 minutes.
That seemed to take the wind out of the sails of Ebden and Pospisil cruised through the fourth set dropping just one game to end up winning the match 3-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (9), 6-1.
The last two Australian men left in the draw now are both teenagers and will be in action on Thursday with 17-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis facing world No. 1 Rafael Nadal while 18-year-old Nick Kyrgios is facing 27th-seed Frenchman Benoit Paire.
World No. 2 Novak Djokovic didn’t have it all his own way in the last two sets after dominating the first against Argentina's Leonardo Mayer, but the four-time Australian Open champion still cruised into the third round with a 6-0, 6-4, 6-4 victory on Rod Laver Arena.
It was a solid showing from Djokovic who sent down 12 aces and hit 30 winners for the match while doing well converting five of his six break points against his Argentine opponent who couldn’t bring up a single break point throughout the entire three sets.
Djokovic will now take on the winner of the Dmitry Tursunov-Denis Istomin clash in the third round.
Another high seed also scored a comfortable straight-sets win on Wednesday with world No. 7 Czech Tomas Berdych barely tested as he disposed of Frenchman Kenny de Schepper 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 on Hisense Arena.
World No. 3 David Ferrer then followed Berdych onto Hisense Arena and despite having to fight through the first set in a tie-break and then dropping the second, he lost only three games in the third and fourth sets to beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-0, 6-3.
It wasn’t the prettiest performance by Ferrer, with the hot and humid conditions certainly not helping the quality of tennis, but with Mannarino hitting 73 unforced errors for the match his cause was greatly enhanced.
The only five-set clash of Wednesday to date took place on Court 8 and it saw the end of No. 14 seed Mikhail Youzhny with the temperamental Russian ending up losing to German world No. 37 Florian Mayer, who won 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
The first retirement on the men's side for the day came on Court 13 when 32nd-seeded Croatian Ivan Dodig withdrew despite leading two sets to one at the time.
That handed victory and a third round berth to Damir Dzumhur from Bosnia and Herzegovina, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 4-1.
The reward for Dzumhur is a clash with the seventh-seeded Czech Berdych.
French ninth-seed Richard Gasquet had a straight-sets win over former world No. 3 Russian Nikolay Davydenko, but all three sets were hotly contested.
However, Gasquet ended up prevailing 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-4 to advance to the third round of the Australian Open
Polish 20th-seed Jerzy Janowicz once again had a slow start as he did in the first round against 19-year-old Australian Jordan Thompson.
Janowicz dropped the first set against Spaniard Pablo Andujar but he bounced back to claim the next two sets in a tie-break, and then cruise through the last to win 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5), 6-3.
The win for Janowicz sets up a third round match-up for him with German Florian Mayer.
Frenchman Jeremy Chardy had a hell of a time trying to shake off Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov on Court 6 with the final three sets all going to a tie-break, but he eventually prevailed 7-5, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5).
Despite being tired from his hard fought battle, things now only will get tougher for Chardy as he gets ready to take on Ferrer in the third round.
Veteran 17th-seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo also had a tough battle with Frenchman Julien Benneteau, but ended up coming out on top winning 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-1, 7-6 (6) to advance to the third round.
American Sam Querrey also won through to the third round with a win on Wednesday downing Latvia's No. 23 seed Ernests Gulbis easily in straight-sets, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.
No. 8 Stanislas Wawrinka put together his best year on tour last year and is now into the third round of the Australian Open to begin 2014 after a comfortable 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4 win over Columbia's Alejandro Falla despite a slip up in the third set.
Italian 15th-seed Fabio Fognini needed four sets, but ended up beating Finish veteran Jarkko Nieminen 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 to win through to the third round.
South African 19th-seed Kevin Anderson also had little trouble advancing with a comfortable straight-sets win over Austria's Dominic Thiem, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.