World No. 1 Andy Murray made short work of his third-round clash at the 2017 Australian Open on Friday as he beat American 31st seed Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 in just under two hours.
Following Novak Djokovic’s surprise exit from the Melbourne tournament on Thursday, Murray is now the firm favourite to win the Australian Open having previously lost five finals at Melbourne Park.
Defending women’s champion Angelique Kerber made heavy work of her second-round match but had no such problems on Friday as she downed Czech Kristyna Pliskova 6-0, 6-4 on the Rod Laver Arena court.
Here’s how to catch all the action from the day’s play at the first Grand Slam of the year.
Watch: Eurosport 1 (UK) and ESPN (U.S.)
Live Stream: Eurosport Player (UK), Sky Go (UK), WatchESPN (U.S.)
Friday Replay Coverage: Eurosport 1 from 1:30 p.m. (GMT), Tennis Channel from 7 a.m. (ET)
Full Schedule: AusOpen.com
Murray has been the dominant force in men’s tennis since midway through 2016, and he was ruthless against Querrey as he booked his spot in the fourth round.
The opening exchanges of the clash on Hisense Arena were tight, and in the eighth game of the match, 29-year-old Murray was forced to save a break point.
He then claimed a break of his own in the next game, taking the advantage with a well-placed lob, and eventually saw out the set.
Two breaks in the second set made it easy work for the Scot to take a 2-0 advantage, and despite a brief fightback from Querrey in the third, Murray was too good in the end.
In his second-round match against Andrey Rublev, Murray had a worrying moment when he seemed to go over on his ankle, but he said after Friday’s clash that he was back to full fitness, per the Australian Open:
.@andy_murray is through to 4R #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/kDUcw0RbgW
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2017
The top seed will now face Germany’s Mischa Zverev in the next round as he continues his bid to win a fourth career Grand Slam.
Kerber Returns to Form
World No. 1 Kerber’s preparation for her Australian Open defence was far from ideal. She was knocked out of the Brisbane International at the quarter-final stage before losing in the second round in Sydney’s Apia International.
She then went three sets in both of her opening matches in Melbourne, but she looked to be nearing her best again on Friday.
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Her defeat of Pliskova took just 55 minutes, and she did not lose a game in the opening set.
The second set was more of a challenge, and Kerber conceded a break of serve to the world No. 58.
However, the top seed would not be forced into a decider and had more than enough quality to book her place in the next round, where she will face American Coco Vandeweghe.
Serena Williams will likely be Kerber’s main challenger as the German looks to win a second title in Melbourne.
Based on her early form in 2017, it seemed Kerber may be a premature casualty at this year’s Australian Open, but she showed on Friday that she is still likely to be a major challenger.