National Post (National Edition)

Djokovic survives `very tough match'


Two-time defending Novak Djokovic survived an upset bid to advance to the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday while one former champ, Stan Wawrinka, was knocked out.

Djokovic, the World No. 1 seeking his ninth Australian Open title, used 26 aces and needed three hours, 30 minutes to defeat Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (2), 6-3.

“It was a very tough match, very warm and a lot of long rallies,” Djokovic said. “I want to say that Frances put up a really good fight. The matches are only going to get tougher. I was fortunate to get through the third set today. It was anyone's game and Frances served great.”

Next up for Djokovic is No. 27 seed Taylor Fritz, who outlasted fellow American Reilly Opelka 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 6-2.

In his second-round match, 17th-seed Wawrinka fell behind by two sets against Marton Fucsovics of Hungary, tied the match, and then couldn't capitalize on three set points in the fifth. Fucsovics eliminated Wawrinka 7-5, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 7-6 (9).

In the third round, Fucsovics will meet Milos Raonic, the No. 14 seed. The Canadian defeated France's Corentin Moutet to advance, 6-7 (1), 6-1, 6-1, 6-4.

Also advancing were a pair of Canadiens, 11th seed Denis Shapovalov and 20th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, who will meet in the third round.

The Canadian women didn't fare as well, as both Rebecca Marino and Bianca Andreescu were eliminated. Marino fell to No. 19 seed Marketa Vondrousov­a 6-1, 7-5, while the eighth seeded Andreescu was bounced 6-3, 6-2 by Taiwan's Hsieh Suwei.

There are a pair of Canadian women still playing in doubles, however. Ottawa's Gabriela Dabrowski and American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands, the No. 6 seeds, advanced to the second round with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Lara Arruabarre­na and Kaitlyn Christian.

Meanwhile, Montreal's Leylah Annie Fernandez and British partner Heather Watson upset the No. 10 ranked duo of Australia's Sam Stosur and China's Zhang Shuai 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

Players of note advancing on Wednesday included home-country favourite Nick Kyrgios, Dominic Thiem (3) and Alexander Zverev (6) on the men's side, while Simona Halep (2), Naomi Osaka (3) and Serena Williams (10) moved into the third round on the women's side.

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