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Djokovic runs Australian Open streak to 17 matches

  |   Jan. 18, 2013 at 8:14 AM
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MELBOURNE, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- World No. 1 Novak Djokovic ran his Australian Open winning streak to 17 matches with a third-round win Friday.

Djokovic is seeking a third consecutive Australian Open title. He would be the first to do that since Roy Emerson won five straight (1963-67). Djokovic Friday defeated No. 31-seeded Radek Stepanek 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 in his latest step toward that feat.

Djokovic saved both break points he faced and had just 19 unforced errors -- Stepanek had 37 -- over the 192-point match. Djokovic took nearly 80 percent of the points on serve.

He advanced to a fourth-round match against 15th-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka, who outlasted No. 20 Sam Querrey 7-6 (8-6), 7-5, 6-4. Wawrinka ended up winning just six more points (111-105) than Querrey but still moved on without dropping a set.

No. 4-seeded David Ferrer took out 28th-seeded Marcos Baghdatis 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, allowing Baghdatis just 16 winners. Ferrer had a pair of breaks in each set.

Fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych defeated No. 26 Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 behind a 12-ace attack. He did drop the only break point he faced but still won 75 percent of the points on serve.

Eighth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic rallied for a 3-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 decision over No. 32 Julien Benneteau over 3 1/2 hours. Tipsarevic had a narrow 138-136 edge in overall points won but had the only breaks over the last two sets to advance.

No. 10-seeded Nicolas Almagro topped 24th-seeded Jerzy Janowicz 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 while No. 16 Kei Nishikori beat Evgeny Donskoy 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, 6-3 and unseeded Kevin Anderson ousted 22nd-seeded Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.

The winner of the Djokovic-Wawrinka match will take on the survivor of a match between Berdych and Anderson. The other section of the top half of the draw has Ferrer going against Nishikori and Tipsarevic playing Almagro in the fourth round.

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