MELBOURNE, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Roger Federer survived a five-set challenge Wednesday from Gilles Simon and advanced to the third round of the Australian Open.
Federer, No. 2 in the world, edged by Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3. It was the first time Federer defeated Simon, one of three active players with a winning record over Federer, in three career meetings.
After winning the first two sets while facing just two break points, Federer dropped serve the first three times he served in the third set. Simon forced a fifth set with a ninth-game break.
Federer grabbed a 4-2 fifth-set advantage with a sixth-game break -- his eighth of the match -- and held serve after that for the win, taking his sixth match-point opportunity with his 11th ace.
Novak Djokovic, the No. 3 seed, broke open a tight match by winning seven consecutive games in a 7-5, 6-7 (8-10), 6-0, 6-2 win over Ivan Dodig. After losing the tiebreaker Djokovic took control of the match by sweeping through the third set in 28 minutes, winning 27 of the 39 points and losing only three points on serve.
No. 6-seeded Tomas Berdych also needed a fourth set before finishing off a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 decision over Philipp Kohlschreiber. Eight-seeded Andy Roddick was a straight-set winner over Igor Kunitsyn 7-6 (9-7), 6-2, 6-3. Roddick had more aces (17) than unforced errors (16).
Ninth-seeded Fernando Verdasco finished strong after trailing two sets in a 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-0), 6-0 win over Janko Tipsarevic while 12th-seeded Gael Monfils topped Frederico Gil 6-4, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2. No. 14-seeded Nicolas Almagro survived a 7-5, 2-6, 4-6, 7-6 (12-10), 7-5 battle with Igor Andreev that took nearly four hours.
Tommy Robredo ousted 16th-seeded Mardy Fish 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 and Xavier Malisse dumped No. 25-seeded Albert Montanes 6-4, 6-0, 6-1. Robin Haase knocked out 26th-seeded Juan Monaco 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
Other seeded players advancing Wednesday were No. 17 Ivan Ljubicic, 19th-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka, No. 28 Richard Gasquet and 29th-seeded Viktor Troicki. A pair of unseeded players -- Kei Nishikori and Sergiy Stakhovsky -- also moved into the third round.