Serena Williams bowed out before the fourth round of the Australian Open for just the fourth time in her illustrious career.

The 23-time grand slam champion went down to Wang Qiang in a huge upset on Rod Laver Arena on Friday.

A seven-time champion in Melbourne, Williams made her earliest exit at the tournament since 2006.

We take a look at her earliest departures from the year's opening grand slam after her stunning loss to Wang.

1998, Second round: lost to Venus Williams 7-6 (7-4) 6-1

This was the first professional meeting between the Williams sisters. Venus, bound for the quarter-finals, overcame her younger sister in a head-to-head matchup she would eventually lose more often than not.

1999, Third round: lost to Sandrine Testud [14] 6-2 2-6 9-7

Only a controversial call on match point denied a 17-year-old Williams victory against Testud. Williams thought she had clinched victory in the 14th game of the third set before an overrule, and she would go on to fall to the French 14th seed.

2006, Third round: lost to Daniela Hantuchova [17] 6-1 7-6 (7-5)

On a 16-match winning streak at the Australian Open, having won the title in 2003 and 2005 and skipped 2004 due to a knee injury, Williams' run came to a surprise end against Hantuchova, left again to rue errors in a shock defeat.

2020, Third round: lost to Wang Qiang [27] 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5

Chasing a record-equalling 24th grand slam singles title, Williams stunningly fell to Wang, a player she had crushed 6-1 6-0 at the US Open just months earlier. However, 56 unforced errors proved to be her undoing as Wang produced a consistent display to cause an upset after two hours, 41 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

Wang Qiang insisted she always felt capable of beating Serena Williams leading into her stunning Australian Open upset of the American great.

Wang, 28, produced a shock 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 third-round victory over the eighth seed on Rod Laver Arena on Friday.

The loss marked Williams' earliest exit in Melbourne since 2006 and again delayed her bid to draw level with Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam singles titles.

Wang's win was particularly remarkable given she lost 6-1 6-0 when the pair met in the US Open quarter-finals in 2019. 

"I think my team always believed I could do it," Wang told the Nine Network in an on-court interview.

"After last time, I've done a lot of hard work on the court and off the court. During the second set, I was a little bit confused. I had to be calm.

"I was a little bit confused but my mind always told me I had to focus on the court, focus on every point and trust myself."

Wang will now face Ons Jabeur for a place in the quarter-finals, the Tunisian having earlier beaten the retiring Caroline Wozniacki in three sets.

Asked if she planned to celebrate the triumph, Wang said: "Nope. Take a rest and just prepare for the next match."

Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff are among the 27th seed's potential quarter-final opponents should she get past world number 78 Jabeur.

Serena Williams suffered a shock loss to Wang Qiang in the Australian Open third round on Friday.

The American star made her earliest exit in Melbourne since 2006 with a stunning 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 defeat to Chinese 27th seed Wang on Rod Laver Arena.

Williams' bid to match Margaret Court on a record 24 grand slam singles titles will have to wait a little longer after her error-riddled display.

A seven-time Australian Open champion, Williams lost before the fourth round at the tournament for just the fourth time in her illustrious career.

Wang, meanwhile, was impressive throughout, settling early and rebounding in the third set to close out victory in two hours, 41 minutes.

Wang – crushed 6-1 6-0 when the pair met at the US Open last year – quickly settled despite Williams' pressure and saved three break points during a lengthy sixth game.

Williams looked the more likely to find a break before Wang did just that with a forehand winner to take a 5-4 lead.

A long backhand return saw Wang serve out the opening set to 15, stunning Williams.

Williams fell into a 0-40 hole in the fifth game of the second set and Wang delivered a forehand winner to take a 3-2 lead.

Struggling to find her range, Williams saved a break point in the seventh game before squandering one in the eighth.

But Williams stepped up when Wang served for the match, breaking back to 15 with a ripping forehand cross-court winner.

Williams fought back from 15-40 down in the following game before delivering in what was a tense tie-break to force a deciding set.

Wang stayed with Williams despite the second-set disappointment as they held serve, the former squandering two match points with nervous errors in the 12th game.

But she took her third chance when Williams sent a backhand into the net to fall to a stunning defeat.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN 
Wang Qiang [27] bt Serena Williams [8] 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Wang – 25/20
Williams – 43/56

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Wang – 2/1
Williams – 8/4

BREAK POINTS WON 
Wang – 3/12
Williams – 1/6

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE 
Wang – 63
Williams – 56

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 
Wang – 69/60
Williams – 70/50

TOTAL POINTS 
Wang – 121
Williams – 111

Caroline Wozniacki's professional career came to an end with a third-round loss to Ons Jabeur at the Australian Open on Friday.

The 2018 champion announced last month she would retire at the end of the year's opening grand slam, and her run in Melbourne came to an end in the first week.

Wozniacki went down to Jabeur 7-5 3-6 7-5 on Melbourne Arena, bringing an end to her career after a second third-round exit in as many years.

The former world number one typically fought hard before falling short against Jabeur in two hours, seven minutes.

Wozniacki came from 3-0 down in the final set but was broken in the 12th game by her Tunisian opponent.

The 29-year-old shed some tears after the curtain was brought down on a fine career.

Rafael Nadal will again face an opponent he has dominated previously when he meets Pablo Carreno Busta in the Australian Open third round.

Nadal remains on track to match Roger Federer on a men's record 20 grand slam titles after a fine opening two rounds in Melbourne.

But the Spaniard was far from perfect in the second round – also against a man he has dominated – and will be eyeing improvement against Carreno Busta.

We take a closer look at the 33-year-old ahead of the third round.

 

Form and results

Nadal is yet to drop a set, but was incredibly wasteful in his second-round win over Federico Delbonis. He needed two hours, 30 minutes to progress after converting just three of 20 break points against a man he had dropped just 10 games to in their previous three meetings. Nadal also converted just eight of 18 break points in his first-round victory. He is 12-1 in the Australian Open third round, and his only loss came against Lleyton Hewitt in 2004.

R1: bt Dellien 6-2 6-3 6-0
R2: bt Delbonis 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-1

Next up

Carreno Busta has lost his previous four matches against Nadal, although three of those have been on clay. The other – on a hardcourt in Doha in 2016 – went to three sets after Carreno Busta took the first. A US Open semi-finalist in 2017, Carreno Busta's best results in majors in the past two years have come in Melbourne, where he reached the fourth round in 2018 and 2019. He needed four sets in wins over Jozef Kovalik and Peter Gojowczyk in the first two rounds.

Draw

If Nadal can get past his compatriot, a blockbuster fourth-round showdown with either Nick Kyrgios or Karen Khachanov awaits. Kyrgios has beaten Nadal in three of their seven meetings, while Khachanov is 0-7 against the Spaniard. Further ahead, a quarter-final meeting with fifth seed Dominic Thiem, or Frenchman Gael Monfils, could follow.

What he said

"I have been practising every day a little bit better. Of course, in the match situation, it's a little bit different. I am confident that I'm going to play better because every day in the third set I have been able to show a good level of tennis. I need to do it before the next time."

Rafael Nadal dismissed the antics of Nick Kyrgios after the Australian served up an imitation of the Spaniard at the Australian Open.

After being called out for a time violation when serving in his second-round match against Frenchman Gilles Simon, Kyrgios began acting up as he mimicked some of the between-point twitches Nadal is known to express.

His unspoken point appeared to be that world number one Nadal gets an easy ride from umpires given the time he can take to settle before serving.

Chuntering and flicking at his hair, grabbing at his shorts, Kyrgios' obvious impersonation of Nadal even amused the chair umpire who had issued the time violation.

That was towards the end of the second set, and Simon tried a similar routine in the third when he too was picked up on his time between points, with Kyrgios creasing up in amusement.

Nadal may privately take a dim view, and it might strengthen his resolve to knock Kyrgios out of the tournament should they meet in the fourth round.

They are each a win away from making that head-to-head a reality, and when asked about Kyrgios' conduct, Nadal said: "I really don't care. I am here to play tennis. Honestly, I don't care at all. If [it] was funny, good. That's it."

Kyrgios was asked whether he thought he made his point well to the umpire.

"I know what you're getting at," the Australian said in his post-match news conference.

"That’s part of my motion. So I started my service motion. There wasn't any extracurricular activities I was doing before my serve to waste time. I mean, it happened. That's the ref's discretion whether I went over the clock or not."

Kyrgios then made a revelation after he was asked whether his or Simon's take on Nadal was the better.

"I don't know. I don't wear underwear, so... probably Gilles'," Kyrgios said.

Such behaviour may charge up Nadal for their possible showdown, but it was little more than an amusing aside in a four-set win for Kyrgios.

The 23rd seed knows he must keep his cool in Melbourne, given he received a suspended 16-week ban last September for a series of incidents where his conduct overstepped the line, but he insists that prospect is not on his mind.

"There were a couple times when I went overboard, I think, last year which caused the probation. It's not like I'm doing it every match," Kyrgios said. "No, I'm not thinking about it at all."

Kyrgios was unhappy with himself, however, for aiming a brutal verbal volley towards his team in the players' box after dropping the third set, when he slated their words of support.

According to reports, Kyrgios condemned his team for telling him to "stay tough", twice hurling an expletive their way and sarcastically saying their suggestion was "so creative".

"My behaviour towards my box tonight was not acceptable. In my next match, I don't want to do that," Kyrgios said.

"I was being a bit of a d***head to them. I apologised as soon as I went back into the locker room. They don't deserve that. They do a lot of things for me on and off the court."

Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova and Angelique Kerber claimed comfortable second-round wins at the Australian Open as Garbine Muguruza survived a scare on Thursday.

It was a good day for the women's seeds at Melbourne Park, as 10 of the 12 in action moved into the third round.

Halep, Pliskova and Kerber were among them, while the unseeded Muguruza also progressed.

The top 10 seeds remain alive in the women's draw, with a few familiar faces shaping as contenders once more.

 

HALEP, PLISKOVA AND KERBER PROGRESS

A runner-up in Melbourne in 2018, fourth seed Halep was largely untroubled in a 6-2 6-4 win over British qualifier Harriet Dart.

The Romanian managed five breaks of serve and will meet Yulia Putintseva, who edged last year's semi-finalist Danielle Collins, scoring a 6-4 2-6 7-5 win against the 26th seed.

Pliskova has reached at least the quarter-finals at the past three Australian Opens and the Czech second seed looks like a challenger.

She had few problems in a 6-3 6-3 victory over Laura Siegemund on Rod Laver Arena.

Pliskova will next face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova after the Russian 30th seed battled past Taylor Townsend 7-5 7-6 (7-1).

Kerber, the 2016 champion, was untroubled by Australian wildcard Priscilla Hon in a 6-3 6-2 win.

MUGURUZA FIGHTS THROUGH

Two-time grand slam champion Muguruza was pushed in a 6-3 3-6 6-3 win over Ajla Tomljanovic.

Muguruza mixed 34 winners with 39 unforced errors, but an even bigger test awaits in the third round.

FIfth seed Elina Svitolina set up a meeting with Muguruza by overcoming American Lauren Davis 6-2 7-6 (8-6).

That late-night clash on Margaret Court Arena became dramatic in the second set as Svitolina failed to seize a chance to serve for the match, Davis forcing the tense tie-break.

 

BENCIC, VEKIC CONTINUE RUNS

Coming off a semi-final appearance at the US Open last year, Belinda Bencic overcame former French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko 7-5 7-5.

The Swiss star will meet Anett Kontaveit, who recorded a 6-2 4-6 6-1 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo.

Donna Vekic, the 19th seed, has cruised through her opening two matches after brushing past Alize Cornet 6-4 6-2.

Meanwhile, Dutch ninth seed Kiki Bertens was too good for Australian wildcard Arina Rodionova 6-3 7-5.

Karolina Muchova, the 20th-seeded Czech, was well beaten by CiCi Bellis 6-4 6-4.

Twenty-year-old American Bellis is playing her first grand slam in two years after injury kept her out of action for 18 months.

Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev booked their spots in the Australian Open third round, while Alexander Zverev and Stan Wawrinka also progressed.

Nadal remained on track in his bid to win a 20th grand slam title despite wasting chances against Federico Delbonis in Melbourne on Thursday.

The seeds have been relatively untroubled in the opening rounds in Australia, and they are on a collision course heading into the end of the first week and into the second.

Medvedev, Zverev and Wawrinka were also among the winners in the top half of the draw.

 

NADAL BATTLES INTO ALL-SPANISH THIRD-ROUND CLASH

Nadal converted just three of 20 break points to overcome Delbonis 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-1.

The Spanish star was wasteful before winning in two hours, 30 minutes, while he apologetically kissed a ball girl after striking her with a wayward forehand late in the victory.

Awaiting Nadal is Pablo Carreno Busta, the 27th seed having got past German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk 6-4 6-1 1-6 6-4.

Nadal has won his previous four meetings with Carreno Busta.

 

MEDVEDEV, ZVEREV AND WAWRINKA ADVANCE

Runner-up to Nadal at last year's US Open, fourth seed Medvedev was too strong for Spain's Pedro Martinez as he won 7-5 6-1 6-3.

Another member of the 'Next Gen', Zverev got the job done against Egor Gerasimov, winning 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 7-5.

Zverev will meet Fernando Verdasco after the Spanish veteran upset 26th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in four sets.

Wawrinka, the 2014 champion, was pushed hard by Andreas Seppi, but the Swiss made it 10 wins in 14 meetings with the Italian veteran, securing a 4-6 7-5 6-3 3-6 6-4 victory.

John Isner awaits Wawrinka after the American served 32 aces in a 6-4 6-3 6-3 win against Chilean qualifier Alejandro Tabilo.

Dominic Thiem (fifth seed) and David Goffin (11th) were pushed to five sets before overcoming Alex Bolt and Pierre-Hugues Herbert respectively.

 

KYRGIOS, KHACHANOV SET UP CINCINNATI REMATCH

Nick Kyrgios and Karen Khachanov were both tested before setting up a third-round clash.

Kyrgios got past Gilles Simon 6-2 6-4 4-6 7-5, while Khachanov needed four hours, 34 minutes to edge Mikael Ymer 6-2 2-6 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-8).

Khachanov won his previous meeting with Kyrgios in Cincinnati last year, but it was a clash best remembered for the Australian's outburst at umpire Fergus Murphy that resulted in a 16-week suspended ban and fine.

Gael Monfils, Andrey Rublev and Taylor Fritz were among the other seeds to win through on Thursday.

A wasteful Rafael Nadal fought past Federico Delbonis in the Australian Open second round on Thursday.

Nadal wasted numerous break points on Rod Laver Arena, needing two hours, 30 minutes to overcome Delbonis 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-1.

The world number one was below his best, but was still good for Delbonis, who had won just 10 games in his previous three meetings with Nadal.

The Spanish star remained on track in his bid to join Roger Federer on a men's record 20 grand slam titles, though, with countryman Pablo Carreno Busta awaiting him in the third round.

Nadal squandered six break points in a marathon 22-point second game, but would take his next chance when Delbonis sent a tame backhand into the net.

That solitary break would be enough for Nadal to win the opening set, crushing a forehand winner to take it in 49 minutes.

Delbonis dug himself out of a 0-40 hole to hold in the first game of the second set and saved two more break points in the fifth game.

Another three chances came and went for Nadal in the seventh game before an ace from Delbonis – who looked to be working his way into the contest – denied the Spaniard again in the 11th game.

A wonderful lob helped Nadal set up a 3-1 lead in the tie-break, an advantage he would not relinquish on his way to a two-sets-to-love lead.

Delbonis' resistance was finally broken and so was his serve in the fourth game of the third set as Nadal – who kissed a ball girl after a wayward forehand – booked his spot in the third round.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN 
Rafael Nadal [1] bt Federico Delbonis 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Nadal – 33/29
Delbonis – 22/43

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Nadal – 8/1
Delbonis – 2/8

BREAK POINTS WON 
Nadal – 3/20
Delbonis – 0/0

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE 
Nadal – 69
Delbonis – 63 

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 
Nadal – 85/61
Delbonis – 65/44

TOTAL POINTS 
Nadal – 116
Delbonis – 83

The prospect of equalling the women's singles grand slam record grows with each passing match as Serena Williams looks ahead to Friday's Australian Open third-round clash with Qiang Wang.

Williams - stuck on 23 major championships since winning the Australian Open in 2017 - trails Margaret Court's 24-trophy tally.

It has been a long time coming for Williams as the anticipation builds at Melbourne Park, where the 38-year-old American superstar is yet to drop a set this week.

We take a closer look at Williams' form ahead of the seven-time Australian Open champion's meeting with Wang.

 

Form and results

In her own words, it was not perfect but Williams did what she had to do en route to the third round. Celebrating her 400th slam singles match and 351st victory, Williams was untidy as she hit 28 unforced errors against Tamara Zidansek - who only tallied 13 in the straight-sets loss. She has looked comfortable so far in Melbourne, but the American great will have to improve as the tournament progresses.

R1: bt Potapova 6-0 6-3
R2: bt Zidansek 6-2 6-3

Next up

Wang - the 27th seed - is back in the Australian Open third round for the second successive year. The 28-year-old blitzed Fiona Ferro 6-1 6-2 on Wednesday. Wang, who enjoyed a breakout 2018 season with two WTA titles, was steamrolled by Williams in the US Open quarter-finals last year. She did, however, benefit from a walkover at the Miami Masters.

Draw

It is a tantalising draw in Melbourne, but maybe not for Williams. A clash with good friend Caroline Wozniacki, who will retire at the end of this tournament, looms in the fourth round. Meanwhile, a quarter-final showdown with either defending champion Naomi Osaka or 15-year-old American sensation Coco Gauff could await.

What she said

"It's always a goal for me to make the Championships. That's always my goal, the slams and the Championships. Those are something that's super important for me."

Roger Federer continues to dazzle the Melbourne public as he prepares to renew acquaintances with John Millman in the Australian Open third round on Friday.

Trying to banish the memories of last year's shock fourth-round exit, third seed Federer has looked a class above in his two matches so far at Melbourne Park.

The 20-time grand slam champion is eyeing a record-equalling seventh Australian Open title this year.

We take a closer look at Federer's form ahead of his rematch against Australian favourite Millman.

 

Form and results

While stiffer tests are to come, any slight doubts over Federer and his lack of preparation ahead of the Australian Open have been dismissed. The 38-year-old progressed to the third round at Melbourne Park for the 21st straight year by easing past Filip Krajinovic on Wednesday. Federer tallied 42 winners and just 14 unforced errors.

R1: bt Johnson 6-3 6-2 6-2
R2: bt Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1

Next up

It is a reunion for Federer and Millman, who sensationally eliminated the superstar from the US Open last 16 in 2018. Riding a wave of local support, the 47th-ranked Millman has seen off Ugo Humbert and 31st seed Hubert Hurkacz en route to his first third-round appearance at the Australian Open since 2016.

Draw

Red-hot American Tommy Paul or Marton Fucsovics would be next for Federer, should the Swiss sensation make it through. There has been plenty of buzz and hype surrounding 22-year-old Paul, who is beginning to realise his potential at Melbourne Park.

What he said

"I think the next match is really going to be a test for me because John is going to be there. He's fit like a fiddle. I've lost to him in the past in a best-of-five set match. I almost lost to him in Brisbane, as well, the first time I played against him. He's from this country, so naturally also it's going to be different intensity. I think this is going to be a good test for me."

Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic is clicking into gear ahead of Friday's third-round clash with Yoshihito Nishioka in Melbourne.

Djokovic has only dropped one set en route to round three at Melbourne Park, where a record-extending eighth title is up for grabs.

The second seed has already reached a milestone at the year's first grand slam, celebrating his 900th ATP singles match victory.

We take a closer look at Djokovic's form as he eyes another trip to the fourth round at the Australian Open.

Form and results

It was a relentless performance from Djokovic in the second round on Wednesday. After dropping a set and winning in the Australian Open first round for the first time in his career by overcoming tenacious German Jan-Lennard Struff on Monday, Djokovic was a class above midweek. The Serb star won 93 per cent of his first serves in a demolition of Japanese wildcard Tatsuma Ito.

R1: bt Struff 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 2-6 6-1
R2: bt Ito 6-1 6-4 6-2

Next up

Another game, another Japanese opponent for Djokovic. World number 71 Nishioka earned a showdown with the defending champion courtesy of his surprise win again Dan Evans on Wednesday. Djokovic and Nishioka have met once previously via last year's Davis Cup Finals, where the former cruised 6-1 6-2 for Serbia.

Draw

It could be an all-Serbian affair in the fourth round. If Djokovic, as expected, sees off Nishioka, either countryman Dusan Lajovic or Argentina's Diego Schwartzman await. Looking further ahead and last year's semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas - the sixth seed - could be a quarter-final opponent.

What he said

"I do have to keep going. I feel comfortable and confident playing in Australia. History of my results here have been very positive."

Ash Barty and Serena Williams moved through at the Australian Open as Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff set up a third-round showdown.

Home favourite and world number one Barty was untroubled on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday, continuing her run in Melbourne.

Williams was below her best but still advanced during the night session as her bid for a record-equalling 24th grand slam title continued.

There is also the prospect of a mouthwatering showdown between two of the game's leading lights on Friday.

 

BARTY, SERENA UNTROUBLED

Barty brushed past Slovenian Polona Hercog 6-1 6-4 in just 66 minutes on the back of a consistent performance.

The Australian mixed 16 winners – nine of those from the forehand side – with 16 unforced errors, setting up a clash with Kazakh 29th seed Elena Rybakina.

Williams was left frustrated during the second set of her 6-2 6-3 victory over Tamara Zidansek.

The American star was pushed before advancing in one hour, 18 minutes, having committed 28 unforced errors, including 17 in the second set.

Next up for Williams is Wang Qiang, the Chinese 27th seed having rushed past Fiona Ferro 6-1 6-2.

 

OSAKA, GAUFF SET UP BLOCKBUSTER CLASH

Osaka's title defence stayed alive with a 6-2 6-4 victory over China's Zheng Saisai.

The Japanese third seed faces her biggest test yet in the third round, where Gauff awaits after the teenager's comeback win.

Gauff looked set for an exit, trailing Sorana Cirstea 3-0 in the final set.

But the 15-year-old fought back to claim a 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory and reach the third round at a grand slam for the third straight time.

Osaka crushed Gauff 6-3 6-0 when the pair met at last year's US Open.

 

WOZNIACKI STAYS ALIVE AS KVITOVA, KEYS ADVANCE

Caroline Wozniacki stretched her professional career for at least another match by beating Ukrainian 23rd seed Dayana Yastremska 7-5 7-5.

The 2018 Australian Open champion, who is retiring at the end of the tournament, came from 5-1 down in the first set and 3-0 behind in the second.

Last year's runner-up, Petra Kvitova, was tested in a 7-5 7-5 victory over Spain's Paula Badosa while Madison Keys also had moments of concern in her 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 win over Arantxa Rus.

Petra Martic (13) and Aryna Sabalenka (11) were among the seeds to fall, with the latter beaten by Carla Suarez Navarro in their opening-round clash.

Roger Federer has no desire to revisit the last time he played John Millman at a major but insists he'll be ready for the home favourite at the Australian Open on Friday.

Federer made serene progress into round three in Melbourne with a 6-1 6-4 6-1 defeat of Filip Krajinovic and will now face Millman, a 6-4 7-5 6-3 victor over Hubert Hurkacz.

Their only previous grand slam meeting came at the 2018 US Open when the Australian won a round of 16 encounter in four sets in blistering heat in New York.

Asked if that match had pushed him further than any other physically, he said: "Yeah, definitely. I don't know anything remotely close. I was just happy it was over.

"I never had that [before]. I rather go back in time [and think I'd like to] play that match again. But I don't have that feeling about that match. I was just happy the US Open was over and I could focus.

"I think it was a combination of many things that went wrong for me on that day, plus the opponent was ready and tough as nails.

"I have no regrets. I tried everything in the match itself, it was just not meant to be that day. I hit the wall."

Conditions in Melbourne have been much kinder for Federer so far, both meteorologically and in terms of the draw.

The third seed was barely tested by first-round opponent Steve Johnson or Krajinovic, but rubbished suggestions that would leave him undercooked.

"I prefer this much more than being overcooked," said the Swiss.

"I prefer it this way because you have always extra left in the tank if you need it."

Federer is likely to have to dig deeper against Millman, especially as he may be in the unusual position of not being the crowd favourite.

Millman has already suggested the match should be moved away from Rod Laver Arena due to the number of corporate fans that inhabit the main show court at Melbourne Park - a request that is likely to fall on deaf ears - but Federer is more than happy to play in a raucous atmosphere.

He said: "I'm always happy when the crowd gets involved.

"I don't choose which court I play on. I don't know if he was joking or if he was serious [about moving].

"You would think a match like this should be played on Rod Laver Arena maybe. I don't know if the other seeds have good match-ups as well.

"He knows Margaret Court Arena better [and] Melbourne Arena but I haven't thought about it.

"I figured this was always going to be on Rod Laver Arena but I'm ready to go anywhere, whatever it takes."

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were untroubled, but Grigor Dimitrov was among five seeds to fall at the Australian Open on Wednesday.

Federer produced an excellent performance in a straight-sets thrashing of Filip Krajinovic on Rod Laver Arena.

The Swiss great had received good news before even going on court after three seeds fell in his quarter of the draw, with Fabio Fognini only narrowly avoiding that fate.

Earlier, Djokovic dropped just seven games on his way to a thrashing of Tatsuma Ito in Melbourne.

 

FEDERER, DJOKOVIC EASE THROUGH

Having lost a set in the opening-round victory over Jan-Lennard Struff, Djokovic suffered no such setback against Ito, winning 6-1 6-4 6-2.

A record seven-time champion in Melbourne and 16-time grand slam winner, Djokovic brushed past Ito on the back of 31 winners.

Federer was even more impressive later in the day, crushing Djokovic's Serbian compatriot Krajinovic 6-1 6-4 6-1.

The 20-time grand slam champion looked in fabulous form with 42 winners and just 14 unforced errors, reaching the third round in Melbourne for the 21st straight year.

Federer will next face John Millman, who upset 31st seed Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 7-5 6-3. The Australian stunned Federer at the US Open in 2018.

 

DIMITROV AMONG SEEDS TO CRASH OUT

Dimitrov, a semi-finalist in 2017, bowed out in a surprise 6-4 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (10-3) loss to Tommy Paul.

The Bulgarian 18th seed went up by a break twice in the final set, but lost seven consecutive points from 3-3 in the match tie-break.

Matteo Berrettini, the eighth seed who reached the US Open semi-finals, was edged out by Tennys Sandgren 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 4-6 2-6 7-5.

Sandgren reached the quarter-finals in 2018 and will face Sam Querrey in an all-American third-round clash.

British 30th seed Dan Evans also made a second-round exit, losing to Djokovic's next opponent, Yoshihito Nishioka, 6-4 6-3 6-4.

 

CILIC, RAONIC ADVANCE AS TSITSIPAS GETS FREE PASS

Marin Cilic, runner-up in 2018, eliminated 21st seed Benoit Paire in a thriller.

The Croatian needed three hours, 33 minutes to overcome Paire 6-2 6-7 (6-8) 3-6 6-1 7-6 (10-3).

Next up for Cilic is a man he has lost to twice at the Australian Open in Roberto Bautista Agut, the Spanish ninth seed too good for Michael Mmoh 5-7 6-2 6-4 6-1.

Milos Raonic has reached at least the Australian Open quarter-finals four times and the Canadian has shown impressive form early on this year.

The 29-year-old served 19 aces in a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over Cristian Garin on Wednesday and next faces 2019 semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas advanced without hitting a ball after Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew due to a muscle strain.

 

FOGNINI TAKEN THE DISTANCE BY THOMPSON

It is proving to be an arduous campaign for Fognini, who surrendered a two-set lead before holding his nerve in a decisive tie-break with home hope Jordan Thompson.

The Italian was taken the distance in his first-round meeting with Reilly Opelka after losing the first two sets, and this time it was the 12th seed who almost choked on a healthy lead.

Fognini hurt himself when punching his racket in frustration and was called for a foot-fault in the fifth-set breaker, but he got the job done in a memorable 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 3-6 4-6 7-6 (10-4) triumph that took more than four hours to complete. 

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