Rafa, Roger breeze into third round at Open
Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal have both comfortably advanced to the third round of the Australian Open this evening.
Playing in relative luxury under a closed roof at Hisense Arena after the extreme heat policy was enforced earlier on Thursday, Federer breezed to a 6-2 6-1 7-6 (7-4) victory over Slovenian Blaz Kavcic.
While Nadal dismantled teenage talent Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-2 6-4 6-2 on Rod Laver.
A junior finalist at Melbourne Park and the US Open last year, 17-year-old Kokkinakis underlined his potential by blazing 21 winners against the world No 1 to the delight of rowdy home fans at Rod Laver Arena.
But the rangy Australian was unable to match the firepower of the super-fit Spaniard, who wrapped up the match with a booming serve in under two hours.
Nadal will next play either 25th seed Gael Monfils or American Jack Sock.
It was the first time in a decade Federer was forced to play a match outside Rod Laver Arena, but it didn't bother the Swiss master as he blasted 11 aces and broke Kavcic's serve six times to advance in less than two hours.
The sixth seed next faces either Spanish 31st seed Fernando Verdasco or Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili on Saturday for a spot in the last 16.
French 10th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Japanese 16th seed Kei Nishikori progressed earlier in the day in more testing conditions as baking temperatures prompted tournament officials to invoke the extreme heat policy.
Tsonga defeated Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 6-4 - also at Hisense Arena, where the roof was closed after the opening set of their match.
Bellucci said he thought the entire match should have been played indoors, given the forecast of 44 degrees in Melbourne.
The South American qualifier had already toiled away for four matches to scrape into the second round and admitted to being a virtually a spent force even before walking on court.
"When I lost the first set, it was very hard for me to win three more sets so I was just playing because I didn't want to retire," Bellucci said.
Tsonga, who will meet either countryman Gilles Simon or Croatian Marin Cilic in the third round, had no such concerns, saying the conditions were more difficult for him in his first-round match on Tuesday.
"Of course it was hot, but today I had good feelings," he said.
"He played qualies, he had a tough match two days ago and I just play one match ... and I'm maybe physically pretty good."
Nishikori battled Serb Dusan Lajovic on an outside court to win 6-1 6-1 7-6 (7-3) to book a date on Saturday with either Italian 25th seed Andreas Seppi or American Donald Young.
- AAP and Reuters