Australian Open Day 5: Querrey no match for top seed Murray, Improved Kerber eases into last 16

Andy Murray edged closer to a first Australian Open title, as the world number one cruised to victory over American Sam Querrey to book his place in the last 16 in Melbourne.

With Novak Djokovic suffering a shock exit to Denis Istomin on Thursday, Murray is considered a clear front-runner to win a third grand slam title and showed exactly why he is the favourite with a comfortable win against the 29-year-old.

Andy Murray remains on course for a first Australian Open title image: rte.ie

Andy Murray remains on course for a first Australian Open title
image: rte.ie

The American gave Murray a tough test in the early stages, but Murray took a firm grip winning six out of seven games in the second set. A fifth break point of the match in the third set proved crucial, as the world number one cruised into the fourth round with a 6-4 6-2 6-4 win.

Murray will now face Germany’s world number 50 Mischa Zverev in the last 16 on Sunday, with the 20-year-old reaching the fourth round of a grand slam for the first time after a 6-1 4-6 6-3 6-0 victory against Tunisian Malek Jaziri.

Murray is joined in the last 16 by compatriot Dan Evans, as the 26-year-old saw off the challenge of home favourite Bernard Tomic to have two British men in the fourth round of a grand slam for the first time since Wimbledon 2002.

The British number three recovered from a break down in the second set to race through a tie-break to take a 2-0 lead. After fighting off another three break points in the third, he once again dominated the tie-breaker to bag a 6-3 7-6 (7/2) 7-6 (7/3) victory.

It was an easy day at the office for Roger Federer, as the 17-time grand slam champion cruised into the last 16 with a comfortable 6-2 6-4 6-4 win against tenth seed Thomas Berdych, to remain on course for his first grand slam title in nearly five years.

Federer will face tough opposition in the form of fifth seed Kei Nishikori for a place in the quarter-finals, with the Japanese player bagging a 6-4 6-4 6-4 straight sets win over Slovak Lukas Lacko to set up a clash with the Swiss man.

US Open champion Stan Wawrinka overcame an early scare to book his place in the fourth round, coming from a set down to earn a hard-fought win against Serbian Viktor Troicki.

The Swiss man was broken three times by the 29th seed as he lost the opening set, but Wawrinka fought back and despite being broken twice while serving for the match in the fourth set, the third seed dug deep to secure a 3-6 6-2 6-2 7-6 (9/7) win.

Wawrinka will now meet Andreas Seppi in the last 16, after the Italian also had to come from a set down in his tight 4-6 6-4 7-6(7/1) 7-6 (7/2) win over Belgium’s Steve Darcis.

It was also a tough route into the last 16 for Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, as the 12th seed was made to work hard for his 7-6 (7/4) 7-5 6-7 (10/8) 6-3 win against USA’s Jack Sock.

In women’s action, defending champion Angelique Kerber put in a much-improved performance as she easily dispatched Czech Republic’s Kristyna Pliskova to seal her place in the last 16.

After being pushed to three sets in her first two matches in Melbourne, the world number one was back to her very best, dropping just four games in a comfortable 6-0 6-4 win over her Czech opponent.

American Coco Vanderweghe stands in Kerber’s way of a place in the quarter-finals, as she set up a clash with the two-time grand slam champion, after a shock 6-4 3-6 7-5 win over Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard.

Angelique Kerber cruised past Pliskova to reach the last 16 image: bbc.com

Angelique Kerber cruised past Kristyna Pliskova to reach the last 16
image: bbc.com

There was another dominant win for 36-year-old Venus Williams as she thrashed China’s Duan Yingying 6-0 6-1 to remain on course for a first grand slam title since 2008.

It was also an easy passage into the fourth round for French Open champion Garbine Muguruza, as the Spaniard kept her dreams of a second grand slam title alive with a 6-4 6-2 win over Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova.

Eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova was made to work for her place in the fourth round, as the Russian needed three hours and 36 hours to secure a 6-4 5-7 9-7 win over Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic.

Kuznetsova will be joined in the next round by compatriot Anatasia Pavlyuchenkova, after the 24th seed stunned Ukraine’s Evolina Stivolina in a close fought 7-5 4-6 6-3 win over the 11th seed.

Romania’s Sorana Cristea followed up her big win over Carla Suarez Navarro by dumping out USA’s Alison Riske 6-2 7-6 (7/2) to reach the last 16, while German Mona Barthel defeated Ashleigh Barty to progress with a hard-fought 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory over the Australian.

You can check out more results from day 5 of the action in Melbourne at this link.

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