Melbourne: World number five Maria Sharapova battled past petite Lauren Davis and into the Australian Open fourth round on Friday as she edges closer to another showdown with arch-rival Serena Williams.
The Russian fifth seed needed two hours, 14 minutes to see off the hard-working 103rd-ranked American 6-1, 6-7 (5/7), 6-0 with the roof closed on Rod Laver Arena on a wet Melbourne day.
Sharapova`s 600th career win sets her up with a tough test next up against 12th seed Belinda Bencic, after the dangerous Swiss teen beat Ukraine`s Kateryna Bondarenko.
"In a Grand Slam environment against anyone you can`t expect to get away with it, and I didn`t in the second set," she said, of allowing Davis back into the match in the second set.
"But overall really happy with how I came out in the third and stepped up, considering it`s been, you know, many weeks since I`ve been in that position.
"So I was happy with the way I finished. I think I can take a lot of good things from that."
Swiss great Roger Federer swept past Grigor Dimitrov to bring up 300 Grand Slam match wins and safely reach the fourth round at the Australian Open on Friday.
The 17-time major winner and third seed won 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in two hours, 40 minutes under the closed roof on Rod Laver Arena and will face Belgium`s 15th seed David Goffin in the next round.
Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic continued his unbeaten run over Italian Andreas Seppi to reach the fourth round at the Australian open on Friday.
The 10-time Grand Slam champion survived two set points in a final set tiebreaker before completing a 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (8/6) win and his 12th straight over Seppi, and will now play Frenchman Gilles Simon.
Japanese hope Kei Nishikori emerged from a nearly three-hour battle with Spain`s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
The seventh seed needed four sets to subdue the experienced Spaniard 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours, 48 minutes after rain forced the roof to be closed on Margaret Court Arena.
Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska swept past Puerto Rico`s Monica Puig Friday and into the Australian Open fourth round as she continued her relentless march towards the tournament second week.
The in-form Pole, who won the Shenzhen Open this month, played a faultless second set to beat the 22-year-old 6-4, 6-0 in 76 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.
World number one Serena Williams marched into the Australian Open fourth round on Friday, showing no mercy in a 6-1, 6-1 demolition of hapless teenager Daria Kasatkina.
The six-time Melbourne Park winner and defending champion easily out-muscled the overawed Russian on Rod Laver Arena in just 44 minutes, the shortest match of the tournament so far.