Djokovic, Federer, Davydenko move on

Updated: January 21, 2010, 1:48 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Back on the court where he won his only Grand Slam title, Novak Djokovic overcame an early struggle against a journeyman Swiss player before advancing to the third round of the Australian Open.

The third-ranked Djokovic had nine double faults and 52 unforced errors in his 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 win Thursday over Marco Chiudinelli, the Swiss player who was playing in his first Australian Open.

"I was well aware of his quality, and he played extremely well, especially in the first set and the start of the second," Djokovic said. "I was very lucky to get two sets to one up.

"This court is most special because I won my only Grand Slam here," the 22-year-old Serb said of Rod Laver Arena, where he beat Roger Federer in the semifinals en route to the 2008 title. "It has the nicest possible memories."

Top-seeded Federer beat Victor Hanescu 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in a night match at Rod Laver Arena attended by Prince William, second in line to the British throne.

Federer lost last year's Australian final to Rafael Nadal, who plays his third-round match on Friday.

Federer acknowledged Prince William in the crowd after the match.

"Your Royal Highness, welcome to the world of tennis. Thanks for coming," Federer said.

Djokovic will next play Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, who beat Michael Berrer of Germany 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

No. 9 Fernando Verdasco, who played the longest match in the tournament's history before losing to fellow Spaniard Nadal in the semifinals last year, advanced to the third round with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win over Ivan Sergeyev of Ukraine. No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who lost the 2008 final to Djokovic, had a 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 win over American Taylor Dent.

Sixth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko, who rarely gets onto the center court at this stage of a Grand Slam, had a 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 win over Ukraine qualifier Illya Marchenko in the low-key manner that has typified an 11-match winning streak.

The 28-year-old Russian doesn't have the profile of Federer or Nadal, and he's never made a Grand Slam final, but nobody has been playing better lately.

He dominated Marchenko on Show Court 2, which is No. 4 in the pecking order of courts at Melbourne Park, to extend a winning sequence that has included title runs at the World Tour Finals at the end of 2009 and Doha to start this year.

Davydenko beat both Federer and No. 2 Nadal on his way to two titles in the last two months, including the Qatar Open this month where he saved two match points in a comeback win over Nadal in the final.

His best run at the Australian Open ended in a fourth-round loss in 2008. He did not play here last year because of a left heel injury, breaking a streak of 29 straight Grand Slam tournaments back to the 2001 U.S. Open.

If players progress according to their seedings, Davydenko would meet 15-time Grand Slam singles champion Federer in the quarterfinals here.

Marcos Baghdatis, the 2006 finalist, struggled late with cramping but held on to beat No. 17 David Ferrer of Spain 4-6, 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-1.

Baghdatis will face former No. 1-ranked Lleyton Hewitt, who had a 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-1 win over American Donald Young. The last Hewitt-Baghdatis match at Melbourne Park was a third-round match that finished at 4:34 a.m. in 2008.

In other action, No. 18 Tommy Haas of Germany held off Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3; 20th-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny beat Jan Hajek of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-1, 6-1; and No. 30 Juan Monaco of Argentina rallied past France's Michael Llodra 3-6, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-1, 6-3.

Colombia's Alejandro Falla had a 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 win over Marcel Granollers and will play another Spaniard in the next round -- No. 26 Nicolas Almagro beat Germany's Benjamin Becker 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3.

Falla's compatriot Santiago Giraldo missed out, losing 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 to Poland's Lukasz Kubot in the subsequent match on Court 7.

Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.