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Australian Open: Federer and Halep cruise; Thiem wins 5-set marathon

Dominic Thiem had just three double faults in his second round win against Alex Bolt Thursday at the 2020 Australian Open in Melbourne. Photo by Lukas Coch/EPA-EFE
Dominic Thiem had just three double faults in his second round win against Alex Bolt Thursday at the 2020 Australian Open in Melbourne. Photo by Lukas Coch/EPA-EFE

Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Roger Federer and Simona Halep coasted to wins at the Australian Open and Dominic Thiem survived a five-set thriller to advance to the third round of the Melbourne tournament on Thursday.

The fourth-seeded Halep dispatched Britain's Harriet Dart in 1:17, while No. 3 Federer took 1:32 to beat Serbia's Filip Krajinovic. Thiem's marathon match against wildcard Alex Bolt lasted 3:22, which he ultimately won 6-2, 5-7, 6-7, 6-1, 6-2.

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"It was a tough match, Alex played great," the fifth-seeded Thiem said. "It was great crowd support and fun to play with such an atmosphere."

The Austrian had just three double faults and made half the unforced errors as his opponent in the victory. Bolt fired 14 aces, compared to Thiem's 12.

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Thiem won the first two games of the first set before closing out Bolt by winning the final three. The two exchanged game points in the second set, until Bolt closed out the set by winning the final four games. The duo battled for alternating wins through eight games in the third set, before Bolt triumphed in the rally with an ace.

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Thiem turned it on down the stretch, dropping just two of the final 15 games. He won match point with a forehand winner.

Federer fired 14 aces and did not have a double fault in his domination of Krajinovic. He also made just 14 unforced errors in the straight-sets victory. Halep had just one ace, but also didn't double fault in her triumph.

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"It was not easy at all, even if she does not hit very strong, she has good angles," Halep said of Dart. "Her ball doesn't have that much power to play against, but I had to work a little bit more."

"I'm ready for the next match," she added. "It doesn't matter who I play, I just have to do my job on the court and not lose my focus."

No. 1 Rafael Nadal also advanced to the third round. Australian Nick Kyrgios, seeded 23rd, won in four sets over Gilles Simon.

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Key third round matchups in the men's circuit include: Federer vs. John Millman; Thiem vs. No. 29 Taylor Fritz; No. 2 Novak Djokovic vs. Yoshihito Nishioka; No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Milos Raonic; No. 19 John Isner vs. No. 15 Stan Wawrinka; and Nadal vs. fellow Spaniard and 27th-seeded Pablo Carrento Busta.

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Women's third round matchups include: Halep vs. Yulia Putintseva; No. 1 Ashleigh Barty vs. No. 29 Elena Rybakina; No. 10 Madison Keys vs. No. 22 Maria Sakkari; No. 3 Naomi Osaka vs. Cori "Coco" Gauff; No. 8 Serena Williams vs. No. 27 Qiang Wang; and No. 2 Karolina Pliskova vs. No. 30 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

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