Andy Murrray kept up his quest for a first Australian Open title on day four of the action down under, as the world number one crushed local Simon Groth to ease into the third round.
The Scotsman cruised the first set breaking all three of Groth’s serves to win the first set without conceding a game and while Groth improved in the second, Murray’s quality was too much for him to handle as the second seed cruised to a 6-0 6-4 6-1 win.
Murray will now face Portugal’s Joao Sousa on Saturday as the 32nd seed overcame the challenge of Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo 6-3 7-5 3-6 6-1 to set up a third round clash with the British number one.
World number eight David Ferrer sent home favourite Lleyton Hewitt out of the tournament and into retirement as the Spaniard scored a comfortable 6-2 6-4 6-4 straight sets win over the 34-year-old, who has played his final grandslam match.
There was some good news for the Aussies today as 16th seed Bernard Tomic overcame his second round clash with Italy’s Simone Bolelli in four sets 6-4 6-2 6-7 (5/7) 7-5 to reach the next round.
Reigning French Open champion Stan Wawrinka remains on course for a second Australian Open title as the Swiss man encountered no major difficulties in his second round clash with Radek Stepanek as he cruised to a 6-2 6-3 6-4 straight sets win.
Fernando Verdasco – the man to knocked out Rafael Nadal on Tuesday – failed to capitalise on his major scalp as the Spaniard exited the Australian Open as Israel’s Dudi Sela battled from a set down to win 4-6 6-3 6-3 7-6(7/4).
Frenchman Gaels Monfils overcame a tough challenge from compatriot Nicolas Mahut but it was all to easy for the 23rd seed in the end as he bagged a spot in the third round after a 7-5 6-4 6-1 victory.
Tenth seed John Isner overcame a tough match against Spain’s Marcel Granollers 6-3 7-6 (8/6) 7-6 (7/2) to advance, while Canadian Milos Raonic was also made to work for victory with a 7-6 (8/6) 7-6 (7/5) 7-5 over Spain’s Tommy Rebredo.
In women’s action, Viktoria Azarenka continued her great form as this year’s tournament as she followed up a 6-0 6-0 victory in the first round by cruising into the third round with another comfortable 6-1 6-2 win over Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic.
A potential last 16 clash with third seed Garbine Muguruza could await Azarenka after the Spaniard cruised into the third round with a 6-4 6-2 victory over Kirsten Filipkens.
Former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic may have been shaken after a spectator was injured by falling down the stairs but the incident did not put her off booking a place in the third round, as the Serbian recorded a 6-3 6-3 win over Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova.
British number one Johanna Konta followed up her ousting of Venus Williams as she overcame China’s Saisai Zheng 6-2 6-3, while American Madsion Keys came from a set down to beat Kazakh Yaroslava Shedova 6-7 (4/7) 6-3 6-3.
11th seed Timea Bacsinszky’s tournament is over after the Swiss player fell to a 6-2 6-3 defeat to Germany’s Annika Beck, while Evolina Stivolina is also out as Japan’s Naomi Osaka stunned the Ukrainian 6-4 6-4.