Nadal, Blake Advance at Australian Open

Posted on January 18, 2007

Few problems for the seeds Thursday at the Australian Open where Top 10 seeds Rafael Nadal, Nikolay Davydenko, James Blake and David Nalbandian moved into the third round.

Nadal dispatched of German Philipp Kohlschreiber in four sets, while the Russian Davydenko baked a second-set bagel against Gilles Muller, Blake eased past American countryman Alex Kuznetsov losing only seven games, and Nalbandian, searching for his first Slam title, subdued Ecuador's Nicolas Lapentti.

"I know how dangerous he can be," Blake said of Kuznetsov, a hitting partner he had never faced in a match, with Blake finding himself down a break in the first set. "I think maybe at that point he started realizing what he was doing, what court he was on and kind of the arena that he was in. That's something I hopefully have going for me now is a little bit of experience, and to ride that storm that Alex was kind of bringing to me."

Other seeded winners Thursday were (10) Fernando Gonzalez (d. Del Potro who retired trailing 0-4 in the fifth), (12) Tommy Haas (d. Bozoljac), (13) Tomas Berdych (d. Smeets), (15) Andy Murray (d. Verdasco), (19) Lleyton Hewitt (d. Dancevic in four), (21) Dmitry Tursunov (d. Mirnyi), (28) Sebastien Grosjean (d. O.Rochus in five), and (31) Stan Wawrinka (d. Capdeville).

Argentina's Juan Ignacio Chela accounted for the only seeded loss on the day, outlasting No. 17 Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Among the notable in unseeded play, American Robby Ginepri beat Mischa Zverev, and Fabrice "The Magician" Santoro topped Arnaud Clement in an all-French conflict, both in straight sets.

In action Friday in Melbourne are (1) Federer vs. (25) Youzhny, (6) Roddick vs. (26) Safin, (14) Djokovic vs. Udomchoke, (18) Richard "Baby Fed" Gasquet vs. Gael "Force" Monfils in an all-French battle, the American Fish vs. the Aussie Arthurs in an unseeded serving contest, (7) Robredo vs. Querrey, (9) Mario "Baby Goran" Ancic vs. Dominik "The Dominator" Hrbaty, and (16) Ferrer vs. (20) Stepanek.