Novak Djokovic into third round in three sets

MIKE HEDGE
Last updated 18:28 15/01/2014

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Defending champion Novak Djokovic has handled his opponent and the weather with similar ease and taken another step toward his fifth Australian Open title.

Djokovic, the second seed, beat Argentina's Leonardo Mayer 6-0 6-4 6-4.

As well as earning him a place in the third round, the win dismissed concerns that Djokovic is vulnerable in extreme heat.

The heat question arose following the Serbian player's retirement from a quarter-final against Andy Roddick in 2009.

But Djokovic said a number of changes have occurred in his routine since then.

"I've matured, got physically better, changed a few things in my diet," Djokovic said.

"You always have to try and find that physical and mental edge."

Djokovic joins Spanish third seed David Ferrer and Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych in the third round, which is also expected to be played in the extreme heat players experienced on Wednesday.

Ferrer had a slip-up in the second set that forced him to stay out in the heat for an extra hour before he triumphed over France's Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (7-2) 5-7 6-0 6-3.

In earlier matches, Berdych defeated France's Kenny De Schepper 6-4 6-1 6-3 and ninth-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet handled the heat better than Russia's Nikolay Davydenko, winning their second-round match 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 6-4.

On the other side of the ledger, Russia's Mikhail Youzhny became the first men's seed to go the distance and lose at the this year's Open.

Youzhny, the 14th seed, made a three-hour bid for survival in sweltering heat before losing 6-4 3-6 6-3 3-6 6-3 to Germany's Florian Mayer in their second-round match.

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- AAP

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