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Novak Djokovic Reaches Australian Open Last 16: Round-Up

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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Novak Djokovic came through a tricky encounter against sparky Czech veteran Radek Stepanek to book his place in the last 16 of the Australian Open.

The world number one won 6-4 6-3 7-5 against the 34-year-old Stepanek to maintain his bid to become the first player since tennis became professional in 1969 to win three straight Australian Open titles.

Rod Laver Arena
Novak Djokovic (Ser) beats Radek Stepanek (Cze) 6-4 6-3 7-5

Serbia's Djokovic was made to work hard for his points as he battled into the fourth round, taking two hours 22 minutes to overcome the entertaining Stepanek.

Stepanek, the 31st seed, charged the net 67 times and combined for some thrilling and unconventional rallies with the top seed.

"It was a great match, great fun," said Djokovic.
"He is a very talented player, very skilful. He made a lot of great first volleys and made me play the extra ball.

"He was chipping and charging, not a lot of players do this any more. A lot of the players stay on the baseline."

Djokovic, 25, will next play either American Sam Querrey or Swiss 15th seed Stanislas Wawrinka.

"I have played well in the first few rounds, slowly getting into my rhythm," he said.

"I can play better but I cannot be dissatisfied with my performances."

Angelique Kerber [5] (Ger) beat Madison Keys (USA) 6-2 7-5

World number five Angelique Kerber of Germany celebrated her 25th birthday with a win over the 17-year-old Keys and was handed a cake with candles during her post-match interview.

"It was a very tough match because Madison is a great young player," said Kerber. "I was just trying to focus point by point and I'm so happy to win on my birthday."

Kerber, who has never been beyond the third round at Melbourne Park, meets 19th seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova, who beat 11th seeded Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli 6-7 6-3 6-4.

"I really have nothing to lose," said Kerber, who won tournaments in Paris and Copenhagen last season as she became the first German to finish in the year-end top five since Steffi Graf in 1996.

Na Li [6] (Chi) beat Sorana Cirstea [27] (Rom) 6-4 6-1

China's sixth seed Li Na, a finalist at Melbourne Park in 2011, breezed past Romania's Sorana Cirstea in 71 minutes and will next play 18th-seeded German Julia Goerges, who beat Li's compatriot Zheng Jie in their third round clash.

Venus Williams [25] (USA) v Maria Sharapova [2] (Rus)

David Ferrer [4] (Spa) v Marcos Baghdatis [28] (Cyp)

Hisense Arena
Agnieszka Radwanska [4] (Pol) beat Heather Watson (GB) 6-3 6-1

British number one Heather Watson's Australian Open adventure came to an end at the hands of the clinical fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska. The 20-year-old Watson found last year's Wimbledon finalist a class above as she relented in 84 minutes.

Watson was broken three times in the first set but showed glimpses of her refusal to give in with a break of her own in game eight. But the second set was a different story, and with the roof closed because of rain, Radwanska closed out victory in impressive fashion.

"I'm extremely happy to be playing my best tennis from the beginning of the year," said Radwanska, who won tournaments in Auckland and Sydney before coming to Melbourne. "Hopefully I'll play on the same level the rest of the tournament."

Match report
Ana Ivanovic [13] (Ser) beat Jelena Jankovic [22] (Ser) 7-5 6-3

Ivanovic came out top of the all-Serbian clash despite squandering a 5-2 lead in the first set. Jankovic fought back to 5-5 but the 13th-ranked Ivanovic broke to pull ahead 6-5 and the won the first set with an ace.

The 25-year old Ivanovic, who spent 12 weeks at world number one after winning the French Open in 2008, wrapped up the second set on her second match point.

The pair were one-time bitter rivals but their relationship has thawed through playing in the Fed Cup.

"It's competitiveness, said Ivanovic. "You have that with everyone you play - and especially someone coming from your country. We were (once) both looking for the number one position and to win a Grand Slam.

"Of course there is going to be rivalry, but I think there is healthy rivalry too because you kind of push each other."

Ivanovic will next meet fourth seed Radwanska, who is on a 12-match winning streak.

Kevin Anderson (SA) v Fernando Verdasco [22] (Spa)
Jurgen Melzer [26] (Aut) v Tomas Berdych [5] (Cze)
Sania Mirza (Ind) / Bob Bryan (USA) v Samantha Stosur (Aus) / Luke Saville (Aus)

Margaret Court Arena
Ekaterina Makarova (Rus) beat Marion Bartoli (Fra) 6-7 6-3 6-4

Janko Tipsarevic [8] (Serbia) beat Julien Benneteau [32] (France) 3-6 6-4 2-6 6-4 6-3

Tipsarevic finally overcame the tiring Benneteau to fix up a clash with Spain's Nicolas Almagro, who beat Poland's Jerzy Janowicz 7-6 7-6 6-1.

Sam Querrey [20] (USA) v Stanislas Wawrinka [15] (Sui)

Daniele Bracciali (Ita) / Lukas Dlouhy (Cze) v Alex Bolt (Aus) /Greg Jones (Aus)

Crazy Jerzy
Jerzy Janowicz was hit with a US$2,500 fine on Friday for an extraordinary rant at officials.

The Pole dropped to his knees and repeatedly yelled "How many times?" as he disputed a line-call during his second-round win over India's Somdev Devvarman, and also hit the umpire's chair with his racquet.

Janowicz later admitted he "went nuts" during the incident on Wednesday.

"Sometimes it happens like this. Sometimes I have a problem to control my emotions, but I'm trying to work on this," he said.

BBC SPORT