Novak Djokovic led the way on Thursday with a 6-3 6-2 6-1 demolition of Santiago Giraldo as a trio of former Australian Open champions reduced their opponents to bit part characters on Thursday.
Djokovic, who makes his acting bow in the blockbuster “The Expendables 2” later this year, showed that he had lost none of his appetite for his day job with an emphatic second round victory at Melbourne Park. Important resultsScot Andy Murray, the losing finalist for the last two years here, was also in imposing form as he despatched Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-1 6-4 6-4.
Lleyton Hewitt capitalised on Andy Roddick’s retirement to reach the third round. “It’s a nightmare for both of us,” said Hewitt, who was leading the match 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 when Roddick called it quits. “You know Andy is hurting and you try to block it out of your mind. Without sounding mean, you try to run him around a lot more.”
While Serena Williams made it look easy on Thursday, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova flirted with disaster. Williams brought up her 500th career win in 6-0 6-4 beating of Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, to reach the third round.
Former champion Maria Sharapova took just 64 minutes to crush American qualifier Jamie Hampton 6-0 6-1 and 2008 French Open winner Ana Ivanovic also strolled through to the weekend fixtures with 6-2 6-3 win over Michaella Krajicek.
The performance of Kvitova’s 58th-ranked opponent Carla Suarez Navarro was a riposte to those questions as she forced the Wimbledon champion to fight back from a break down in the third set to salvage a 6-2 2-6 6-4 win. “It’s very tough to get back because you know that she moved very well and she got everything,” the 21-year-old Czech said. “I just try to get more shots and be in the rallies with her and play smarter. That was the key.”