Mahut next for Djokovic, Hewitt faces Raonic

Updated: Jan 20, 2012, 22:33 PM IST

Melbourne: Playing on what is becoming his favourite court should help him in his third round clash against France`s Nicolas Mahut at the Australian Open on Saturday, Novak Djokovic has said.

The Serb already has two titles at Melbourne Park and used last year`s triumph to catapult himself into an incredible 2011 in which he also claimed the Wimbledon and U.S. Open crowns.

"I guess if we get to play on the centre court or any of the bigger courts, I will try to use my experience playing on those courts," Djokovic said of only his second match against Mahut. "He`s a very talented player and has a nice one handed backhand.

"He`s somebody that prefers faster courts and surfaces (but) I think the surface here is a bit slower and the bounce is a little bit higher, so maybe it`s more suitable to my style of the game."

Should Djokovic beat 81st ranked Mahut he will set up a fourth-round clash against Australian veteran Lleyton Hewitt or fast-rising Canadian Milos Raonic, who are scheduled to provide the late-night entertainment on Rod Laver Arena.

Women`s second seed Petra Kvitova, who was surprisingly pushed by Spain`s Carla Suarez Navarro to three sets in the second round, also faces a tricky opponent in Russia`s Maria Kirilenko, who holds a 2-1 record against the Wimbledon champion, though the Czech won their Fed Cup final clash.

Former world number ones Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams also make their bids for the fourth round when they face Germany`s Angelique Kerber and Hungary`s Greta Arn respectively.

Andy Murray continues his quest for Britian`s first men`s grand slam champion since 1936 when he faces Michael Llodra in the final match on the Hisense Arena and Murray said it could be difficult against the French serve and volleyer.

"He`s been a great doubles player, been very good at singles for a long time (and) he makes it difficult because of the way he plays," world number four Murray, runner-up in the last two years here, said.

"You don`t see guys playing like that much nowadays. When you do play against them, it normally takes a little while to adjust. It`s going to be tough."

Bureau Report