MELBOURNE, Australia – Angelique Kerber survived some nervous moments before fending off American teenager Madison Keys in the third round of the Australian Open, then got to blow out the candles on a cake to celebrate her 25th birthday.
Fifth-seeded Kerber, from Germany, won 6-2, 7-5 on Friday to move into the fourth round, further than she’s gone in six trips to the Australian Open.
Kerber will next play No. 19 Ekaterina Makarova of Russia, who advanced after a tough 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4 win over 2007 Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli.
In the fourth round last year, Makarova beat Serena Williams and was the first of only four women to beat the powerful American in 2012. Kerber was the last.
Roger Federer’s 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Nikolay Davydenko set him on course for a third-round match against Bernard Tomic, the last remaining Australian in the men’s or women’s draws.
The 20-year-old Tomic beat German qualifier Daniel Brands 6-7 (4), 7-5, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (8).
The temperature got progressively hotter until late afternoon, meaning top-ranked Victoria Azarenka had it slightly easier in her second-round match – a 6-1, 6-0 win over Eleni Daniilidou of Greece – than third-ranked Serena Williams did in the next match, a 6-2, 6-0 win over Garbine Muguruza of Spain.
Andy Murray, who won the Olympic gold medal in singles and then went on to break a long British drought for British men by winning the U.S. Open, beat Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 to advance to the third round in Australia.
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