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Del Potro crashes out, Nadal & Federer advance

ESPN staff
January 16, 2014 « Play suspended at Australian Open due to heat | Chartbeat test »
Federer and Nadal progress

Juan Martin del Potro is out of the Australian Open after losing a five-set epic to Roberto Bautista Agut which finished at 1.20am local time.

Del Potro, who lifted the US Open in 2009, claimed the opening set 6-4, but Bautista Agut hit back to level at one-set all by taking the second 6-3. Del Potro moved back in front after recovering a break in the third, but Bautista Agut would not give in, as he fought back to win the fourth and fifth set to emerge a 4-6 6-3 5-7 6-4 7-5 victor, smashing an incredible 72 winners in the process.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer reached the third round of the Australian Open after they won their encounters in straight sets.

Nadal defeated 17-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-2 6-4 6-2, while Federer overcame Blaz Kavcic 6-2 6-1 7-6(4) to win his 70th match at the tournament.

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World No. 1 Nadal is looking to win the Australian Open for a second time, and the player who won the French and US Opens in 2013 as well as a record-equalling five Masters 1000 crowns, wasted little time in the opening set to take it in 32 minutes.

Kokkinakis gave the 2014 Doha champion a tough time in the second set, but it was Nadal who managed to take it, before going on to complete the win in straight sets.

"He has fantastic potential, with a great serve and a great forehand. He has all the ingredients to be a fantastic player so I wish him all the best," Nadal said on the teenager who showed great potential.

Four-time champion Federer meanwhile only dropped two games in his opening two sets, taking them in 26 and 28 minutes respectively in his first match away from Rod Laver Arena in 10 years.

But his opponent Kavcic raised his level in the third set, taking the record 17-time grand slam champion to a tiebreak. However, the experience of Federer came through as he clinched it 7-4 to avoid losing a set.

"I'm happy on a hot day like this," Federer said. "It was a good first two sets I thought. I played really aggressive and it worked out. Third set I think he was more consistent. He served better. In the process, it got closer. I'm happy I got it done in three."

And on playing away from the Rod Laver Arena, he said: "It was nice, I enjoyed [playing on Hisense]. It's not really different to Rod Laver Arena. Just dimensions feel the same. I don't feel like you need to make an adjustment. The crowds were really nice. Great atmosphere over there. I was happy playing there."

Former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga saw off Thomaz Bellucci 7-6(6) 6-4 6-4, with 16th seed Kei Nishikori beating Dusan Lajovic 6-1 6-1 7-6(3). And in the last match of the day, 18-year-old Australian Nick Kyrgios crashed out after squandering a two-set lead, losing 6-7(5) 6-7(5) 6-4 6-2 6-2 in a match to Benoit Paire that finished at 1.40am local time.

Roger Federer collected his 70th win at the Australian Open © Getty Images
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