Rafael Nadal advances to 4th


MELBOURNE, Australia -- Top-seeded Rafael Nadal looked as if he was in a hurry to get out for a late dinner Saturday while posting a straight-sets victory in a featured night match at the Australian Open.

Nadal continued his dominance of Gael Monfils, beating the Frenchman for the 10th time in 12 matches in a 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 win in just more than two hours to advance to a fourth-round match against No. 16 Kei Nishikori.

Earlier, three-time finalist Andy Murray advanced to the fourth round at the Australian Open for the sixth straight year with a 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-2 win over No. 26-seeded Feliciano Lopez of Spain.

Murray, playing only his second tournament since minor back surgery in September, was broken only once in a 2-hour, 15-minute match.

"It's been a good start," Murray said. "It was very tricky the first couple of matches with the heat, but today was beautiful to play in."

Fourth-seeded Murray, who broke some Grand Slam droughts for British men when he won the US Open in 2012 and Wimbledon last year, is still aiming for his first Australian title. He has lost in the finals at Melbourne Park in three of the past four years.

He next faces Stephane Robert, a lucky loser from qualifying who made the main draw after Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew with an injury on the second morning of the tournament. No. 119-ranked Robert beat fellow lucky loser Martin Klizan of Slovakia 6-0, 7-6(2), 6-4 on Saturday and is into the fourth round for the first time.

It is the first time a lucky loser has advanced this far at the tournament.

Murray was impressed by Robert's achievement.

"He's obviously 33 years old. Could be easy to stop playing, if you're not in the top hundred or necessarily making a great living," he said. "But it does show if you stick at it, you're professional, when your chance comes, you take it, you can do great things."

Four-time champion Roger Federer advanced to the fourth round at the Australian Open for the 13th consecutive year following a 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 win Saturday over Teymuraz Gabashvili.

He is seeded sixth at this Australian Open, his lowest seeding in more than a decade, after a year in which he didn't reach a Grand Slam final for the first time since 2002. His wife, Mirka, and their twin daughters were in the arena watching against Gabashvili. The couple is expecting another child later in the year, something Federer sees as a good omen.

"The last time (Mirka) was pregnant, I played fairly well, won the French and Wimbledon," he said in reference to 2009. "So lots of pressure there."

Federer was back in familiar territory Saturday at Rod Laver Arena. On Thursday, he won his second-round match at the secondary Hisense Arena, the first time in a decade that Federer was not given prime billing at the 15,000-seat Rod Laver, where he had played his previous 63 consecutive Australian Open matches.

Federer will next meet 2008 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-2 in a night match.

Last year, Federer beat Tsonga in the quarterfinals here.

"For me it's going to be the possibility to have revenge," Tsonga said.

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