Melbourne, Jan 21 : Novak Djokovic and Nikolay Davydenko staked their claim on possible title runs at the Australian Open Thursday as both seeds swarmed opponents for easy wins into the third round.
Third-seeded Djokovic, still hoping to repeat his 2008 title at Melbourne Park, dropped a tight first set but then sprinted past Swiss Marco Chiudinelli 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3.
Roger Federer's good friend and occasional doubles partner was treated for ankle problems and was never able to maintain the upper hand after his opening challenge.
"I was frustrated, especially at start of the match, because he was really giving it to me," Djokovic said. "He was very aggressive and stepping in and using every opportunity that was given to him."
"Automatically I just became too defensive and didn't really make too much. I was just waiting for his mistakes," he added.
Djokovic fired a dozen aces and 46 winners, breaking Chiudinelli eight times from 18 chances.
"I'm taking it step by step and I'm sure that in two days' time I will play even better," the relieved winner said.
The sixth-seeded Davydenko continued his major run of form, which began last autumn with the Shanghai and London titles and continued into the new year with a win at Doha.
The Russian marched onward over Ilya Marchenko of the Ukraine 6-3, 6-3, 6-0, his second victory in straight sets this week.
"I played better in this second match," he said. "I was in control from the baseline. That was important for me."
"Guys from qualifying don't really scare me even if they have nothing to lose. I feel I can win against them even if I'm not on 100-per-cent best form," he added.
Two Germans went down with Uzbek Denis Istomin putting out Michael Berrer 7-5, 6-3, 6-4, while Spain's Nicolas Almagro overcame Benjamin Becker in a five-setter, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3.
The 2006 finalist Marcos Baghdatis kissed his favourite court after coming through against David Ferrer of 4-6, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 6-1.
On the women's side, number four Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark, defeated German Julia Goerges 6-3, 6-1 while seventh-seed Victoria Azarenka got away from Swiss Stefanie Voegele 6-4, 6-0.
Russian number nine Vera Zvonareva advanced over Czech Iveta Benesova 6-0, 6-3, Polish 10th seed Agnieszka Radwanska beat Russian Alla Kudryavtseva 6-0, 6-2.
China's number 16 Li Na overcame Agnes Szavay of Hungary 3-6, 7-5, 6-2. Argentine Gisela Dulko did the same to beat former number one and French Open champion Ana Ivanovic 6-7 (6-8) 7-5, 6-4.
"I was really disappointed to fight back in the third set and then make a couple of double faults and basically hand her three match points," said Ivanovic.
"I just have to sort of keep my head up and try to improve, work. There are things I'm working on," she added.
"Serve is a big part of that progress. I feel it's been going well at times, but it's just not consistent like I would like it to be," Ivanovic said. "It just might just take some time, and I have to accept that." (dpa)
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