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Djokovic romps past Harrison into third round

ESPN staff
January 16, 2013 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »
Novak Djokovic was in red-hot form against Ryan Harrison © AP
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Novak Djokovic was in irresistible form as he continued the defence of his Australian Open title with a dominant second-round victory over Ryan Harrison.

Djokovic justified his status as the red-hot favourite as he romped to a 6-1 6-2 6-3 victory at Melbourne Park to set up a third round clash against Radek Stepanek.

Harrison drew cheers from the crowd with a smash winner at the net in Djokovic's opening service game, but there was little else for the American to celebrate as his opponent raced to a 3-0 lead for the loss of a single point.

The 20-year-old stopped the rot with a morale-boosting service hold in the fourth game, but was helpless to prevent Djokovic powering through the opening set inside 20 minutes.

It was a similar story in the second as Djokovic grabbed an early break, unsettling the American with an exquisite lob return that landed just inside the baseline to set up the break chance. Everything Harrison tried, Djokovic had an answer for as he moved within a set of the third round with less than an hour on the clock.

For a third time, Harrison was left to rue an early break, and although he presented a greater resistance in the third set, Djokovic was impervious on serve - surrendering just eight return points in the entire match.

After fending off further break chances, the world No. 62 celebrated a big service hold like he had won the set, but that merely delayed the inevitable as Djokovic sailed to victory in a shade over an hour-and-a-half.

David Ferrer dropped a set against Tim Smyczek © AP
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Having successfully seen off the challenge of the young American, Djokovic will face a different test in the shape of veteran Radek Stepanek in the third round, after the Czech eased past Feliciano Lopez 6-2 6-2 6-4.

Fourth seed David Ferrer was pushed to four sets before eventually defeating American lucky loser Tim Smyczek 6-0 7-5 4-6 6-3. The Spaniard will face popular Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis in third round after the No. 28 seed came from behind to defeat Tatsuma Ito 3-6 6-3 6-2 6-2.

Fifth seed Tomas Berdych brushed aside the challenge of Frenchman Guillaume Rufin 6-2 6-2 6-4, while Nicolas Almagro won an all-Spanish contest against Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-4 6-1 6-2.

Almagro will face the colourful Pole Jerzy Janowicz, who came from two sets down to defeat Somdev Devvarman 6-7(10) 3-6 6-1 6-0 7-5.

Janko Tipsarevic survived a scare as he needed five sets to navigate his way past Lukas Lacko 6-3 6-4 3-6 4-6 7-5. The No. 8 seed will now face Julien Benneteau in round three.

There was misfortune for American Brian Baker as he was forced to retire from his match against Sam Querrey with a knee injury. Baker, who returned to the professional tour last year after seven years away from the sport, won the opening set but was forced to throw in the towel at 1-1 in the second.

Querrey will face Stanislas Wawrinka in the last-32, the Swiss also profiting from an opponent's injury after Tobias Kamke suffered a shoulder problem.

No. 23 seed Mikhail Youzhny crashed out following a surprise 3-6 7-6(4) 6-2 3-6 6-3 defeat to fellow Russian Evgeny Donskoy, while there were also wins for Kei Nishikori, Jurgen Melzer and Kevin Anderson.

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