MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Highlights of the fourth day at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, on Wednesday (times AEST; GMT+11):
U.S. Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev, seeded fourth, overcame a slow start to ease past Spanish qualifier Pedro Martinez 7-5 6-1 6-3 and reach the third round.
Earlier, Czech second seed Karolina Pliskova made short work of Germany’s Laura Siegemund, firing eight aces and 22 winners to seal a 6-3 6-3 victory in 86 minutes.
Play got underway on the external courts following a spell of rain. Czech 20th seed Karolina Muchova was set to begin her clash with American Catherine Bellis.
Spain’s Garbine Muguruza blasted 34 winners as she quelled the challenge of local hope Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3 3-6 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena.
Play on the outside courts at Melbourne Park was suspended due to heavy rain.
Australia’s John Millman, who takes on 20-times Grand Slam winner Roger Federer next, recalled his famous victory over the Swiss at the 2018 U.S. Open but is well aware of how the 38-year-old responded on the grasscourts at Halle last year.
“He beat me in Halle on the grass there where he has a street named after him. He pretty much owns that tournament, I reckon,” Millman told reporters on Tuesday.
“I’m sure he’ll be confident in himself... he’ll treat it (Friday’s third-round meeting) as another match. Probably even he’ll be that much more determined to nip me in the bud.”
Swiss Belinda Bencic came through a tricky clash with former French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko, winning seven out of eight breakpoints to prevail 7-5 7-5. She will take on Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo or Anett Kontaveit next.
Earlier, 19th seed Donna Vekic powered past France’s Alize Cornet 6-4 6-2 to move into the third round for the first time.
Morning rain delayed play on the external courts for at least an hour but matches at the roofed showcourts proceeded only slightly behind schedule, with twice Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza taking on Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic in the early match at Rod Laver Arena.
Sixth seed Belinda Bencic was playing former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the opener at Margaret Court Arena.
After a hot, gusty day on Wednesday, the weather forecast was for a cooler day of 21 degrees Celsius (70F) but with breezy conditions still to test players at Melbourne Park.
Compiled by Ian Ransom and Shrivathsa Sridhar; Editing by Tom Hogue and Muralikumar Anantharaman