Australian Open, Day 3: Djokovic, Serena advance to third round
Title favourites Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams shrugged off a second day of intense heat to reach the Australian Open third round Wednesday alongside China's Li Na.
Li Na beat was made to work hard before beating 16-year-old Belinda Bencic 6-0, 7-6 (5). (All AP and AFP images)
Ice-cool top seed Serena Williams stayed on track for her sixth Australian Open title with a straight-sets demolition of Serbia's Vesna Dolonc. The world number one raced through the match in oven-like conditions on Rod Laver Arena to make the third round with a dominant 6-1, 6-2.
Ana Ivanovic advanced to third round with a straight-sets win over German Annika Beck.
Novak Djokovic stayed on track for a fourth consecutive Australian Open singles title with a 6-0, 6-4, 6-4 win over Leonardo Mayer of Argentina.
Veteran Indian Mahesh Bhupathi and his American partner Rajeev Ram came from behind to beat Santiago Giraldo from Columbia and Joao Sousa from Portugal 4-6 6-3 6-4 in two hours and two minutes. They will now meet the second-seeded pair of Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares.
Yuki Bhambri and his New Zealand partner Michael Venus recorded a straight-set win in their Grand Slam debut but Divij Sharan's Australian Open campaign ended in the first round. The 21-year-old Yuki and Venus defeated Spaniards Roberto Bautista Agut and Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-2 7-5 in their opening round contest.
Eighth seed Stanislas Wawrinka battled past Alejandro Falla in four sets. The Swiss registered a 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4 victory.
Pat Rafter's Grand Slam comeback lasted just one match after he and Lleyton Hewitt lost in the first round of the Australian Open men's doubles. The Australian pair went down 6-4, 7-5 to American Eric Butorac and South African Raven Klaasen.
Ivan DodigDodig became the tournament's 10th withdrawal or retirement, after a Grand Slam record-equalling nine players pulled out during the first round. "I was thinking I could maybe even die here," said Dodig.