Federer, Djokovic and Roddick move on

Roger Federer hits a return to Xavier Malisse during their match at the Australian Open on Friday....

Roger Federer hits a return to Xavier Malisse during their match at the Australian Open on Friday. (REUTERS/Tim Wimborne)

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, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Reigning champion Roger Federer, former titlist Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick were among Friday's third-round winners at the Australian Open.

Federer, the No. 2 seed, handled Xavier Malisse of Belgium 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 in 1 hour, 35 minutes at Melbourne Park's Rod Laver Arena.

The four-time Aussie Open champion Federer needed five sets to beat Frenchman Gilles Simon in the second round here on Wednesday.

"Yeah, I mean the match against Simon was good, too. Don't make it sound like it was bad just because it was five sets. They usually are a higher level over a longer period of time," Federer said.

"So I thought today was intense too. The first two sets almost didn't reflect how tough it could have been. Or how tough it was. I think that maybe broke his will a little bit because he was up 3-1 in the second I think it was. Then I was able to come back and win 11 straight games which was obviously a great run I got on. I was able to do a few different things."

The Swiss superstar, who titled in Doha two weeks ago, will next do battle with former top-10 Spaniard Tommy Robredo, who took out tough Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.

The 16-time major champion and former No. 1 Federer beat Brit Andy Murray in last year's Melbourne finale.

The third-seeded Djokovic, the 2008 Melbourne champ, was leading fellow Serb Viktor Troicki 6-2 after one set when the No. 29 seed retired due to an illness. The match lasted just 39 minutes.

"He obviously tried his best. It's the third round of a Grand Slam," Djokovic said. "It's not the way you want to finish the tournament, definitely. You know, it's sad for him. But I have to move on."

Spain's Nicolas Almagro, seeded 14th here, handled 17th-seeded Croat Ivan Ljubicic 6-4, 7-6 (10-8), 6-3 to set up a fourth-round match with Djokovic.

The former No. 1 Roddick smacked 32 aces and battled back to beat Robin Haase of The Netherlands 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, 6-2.

"He played great the first two sets," Roddick said. "I mean, I played a bad second service game for him to get the first break. From then on, I didn't play that badly. I thought my error count was really low. You know, he lost the second set hitting 19 winners and having eight errors. You know, that was telling."

"Once I was able to get the momentum on my side, I think he was thinking about each shot a little bit more instead of kind of free-wheeling. But that's what it takes some days. I was able to kind of keep in the match just by serving really well."

The eighth-seeded Roddick was playing in the third round of the Aussie Open for a ninth straight year. He's never won the title in Melbourne, however, reaching the semifinals four times.

Roddick, who could face Federer in the quarterfinals next week, will be opposed by Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka in the round of 16 on Sunday. The hard-hitting Wawrinka titled in India two weeks ago.

Sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic dismissed 28th-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-2, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2. Berdych was last year's Wimbledon runner-up to Rafael Nadal.

In other third-round action Friday, ninth-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco vaulted past Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 and a 19th-seeded Wawrinka drove out 12th-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-3. Verdasco will face Berdych on Sunday.

The third round will conclude on Saturday, including matches for the world No. 1 Nadal, fourth-seeded French Open runner-up Robin Soderling and last year's Aussie Open runner-up Andy Murray, the fifth seed at this fortnight. The 2009 Melbourne champion Nadal will take on Aussie crowd favourite Bernard Tomic.

Former Aussie Open runners-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Marcos Baghdatis will also be on the Day-6 schedule, as will 20th-seeded 6-foot-10 American John Isner, who will battle 15th-seeded 2010 Aussie Open semifinalist Marin Cilic.


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