Kerber, Murray, Federer set for Australian Open's 2nd round

After falling behind a set and a break, many thought that Witthoeft would lose the confidence and momentum, but she proved everyone wrong when she broke back to level the match at 2-2 after Kerber looked very leaky on her forehand.

Meanwhile, Canadian Eugenie Bouchard also made her way to the third round with a win over China's Shuai Peng 7-6 (5), 6-2.

"I was making a lot of mistakes at the important moments", Kerber said.

After being taken to five sets in his first round match, fifth seed Kei Nishikori plays France's Jeremy Chardy who has beaten the Japanese player twice in the six matches the two have played.

"You know actually it's true to have this pressure is a privilege", she said.

It was inevitable after such an energetic performance in her second-round win over Stefanie Voegele at the Australian Open that Venus Williams would get asked about transcending the generations in tennis.

"I just remember celebrating my 18th birthday at home, so that was a big party", Kerber said.

"But I played once against her (Kristyna), I think, few years ago, and I know that she has a great serve, as well". Wawrinka won the most recent major tournament, the 2016 U.S. Open, for his third Grand Slam title.

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"I have to talk about this every interview!"

Venus thought she could manage the injury and play both singles and doubles, but decided she couldn't after her singles match went 83 minutes. Get through the round ASAP.

At 15-15 and 5-2 in the second, she was still remonstrating with herself after missing a point.

Thursday's highlight reel of matches in Melbourne includes Japan riser Naomi Osaka vs. (9) Johanna Konta, (17) Caroline Wozniacki vs. Donna Vekic, (2) Serena Williams vs. Lucie Safarova, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni vs. (3) Agnieszka Radwanska, and (22) Daria Gavrilova vs. Ana Konjuh.

Women's 10th seed Carla Suarez Navarro was the highest casualty in that bracket, falling to Sorana Cirstea in straight sets, 7-6 (1), 6-3. Kuznetsova will next match up against former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, who defeated German Julia Goerges 6-3, 6-4.

Other seeded winners were No. 11 Elina Svitolina, No. 13 Venus Williams, No. 24 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and No. 32 Anastasija Sevastova, all in straight sets.

The 11th seed Elina Svitolina also had a good day in the office, ousting Julia Boserup 6-4 6-1 in just 76 minutes despite losing her serve 3 times, as she was incredible on return, breaking her rival 7 times from 11 chances.

  • Lawrence Cooper