Federer, Djokovic fly high; Nalbandian crashes out

Melbourne, January 21:

A dominant Roger Federer set up an Australian Open third-round clash with Marat Safin today as top seed Jelena Jankovic and defending champion Novak Djokovic showed glimpses of their best form.

The tennis big guns were joined in the next round by Serb glamour girl Ana Ivanovic and Russian third seed Dinara Safina, but 10th seed David Nalbandian was a high-profile casualty, crashing to unheralded Taiwanese Lu-Yen-Hsun.

Swiss great Federer let loose with some instinctive shot-making as he beat Russian qualifier Evgeny Korolev 6-2, 6-3, 6-1. Safin booked his date with Federer by downing Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-5, 6-2, 6-2. The top-seeded Jankovic battled past Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 7-5 and will next play Japanese veteran Ai Sugiyama on Friday.

Djokovic dismissed Jeremy Chardy of France 7-5, 6-1, 6-3. Third seed Safina recovered from a slow start to dominate fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 6-0 while fifth seed Ivanovic overcame early nerves to crush Alberta Brianti of Italy 6-3, 6-2. Next up for Safina is Estonian 25th seed Kaia Kanepi. Ivanovic made the final here last year where she lost to Maria Sharapova, but her late-season form in 2008 left plenty to be desired.

Andy Roddick continued his tilt at the title with victory over Belgium’s Xavier Malisse while Argentinean hotshot Juan Del Potro also won. Australian wildcard Jelena Dokic extended her Grand Slam comeback by beating Russian 17th seed Anna Chakvetadze 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3.