Milestones race by as Djokovic, Serena lead old guard through

Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:45am EST
 
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By Nick Mulvenney

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams reached the fourth round of the Australian Open without having lost a set between them on Friday as the grand slam establishment held firm on day five of the championships.

Tougher challenges will undoubtedly come but the untroubled progress of the two reigning champions and dominant players of 2015 has started to resemble a procession in the first week of the year's first grand slam.

Djokovic, champion for five of the last eight years at Melbourne Park, played a rare match away from Rod Laver Arena but still proved too strong for Italian Andreas Seppi, securing his 210th grand slam victory 6-1 7-5 7-6(6).

The Serbian had to work for his victory through some long rallies but always looked like he had an extra gear when he needed it.

"I served my way out of trouble several times," he said. "But certainly I must be pleased with a straight-set win because both sets could have gone a different way."

Williams did a twirl on Rod Laver Arena after crushing Russian teenager Daria Kasatkina 6-1 6-1 to extend her record of wins to 71 matches, the post-match chatter quickly turning to her cropped-top outfit.

"It's not warm but it's built for speed," the six-times champion quipped.

Rain washed away much of the day's action on the outside courts at Melbourne Park, only intensifying the focus on the elite playing under cover on the three main arenas.   Continued...

 
Serbia's Novak Djokovic stretches to hit a shot during his third round match against Italy's Andreas Seppi at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 22, 2016. REUTERS/Jason O'Brien