The heat took centre stage at the Australian Open on Thursday, with Novak Djokovic and Gael Monfils in particular suffering before the six-time champion emerged victorious over four sets.
Roger Federer defeated Jan-Lennard Struff to reach round three but Stan Wawrinka’s comeback tournament following knee surgery ended in defeat to Tennys Sandgren.
There were defeats for Johanna Konta and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza but world number one Simona Halep overcame an ankle injury to beat Eugenie Bouchard and Maria Sharapova set up a mouth-watering third round encounter against Angelique Kerber.
Tweet of the day
Picture of the day
The most aptly-named player in the draw is through to the third round after taking advantage of Stan Wawrinka’s knee problems. Tennys Sandgren, an American of Swedish heritage, fully embraces his moniker. “I was definitely aptly named,” he said. “It’s my great grandfather’s name. And I think I had to be at least decent at the sport, I couldn’t be terrible. So I think I’ve done that.”
Angelique Kerber did her bit for media relations on Thursday by giving her 30th birthday cake to the tennis press. Predictably the generous gift quickly disappeared. Expect plenty of favourable coverage during the German’s third round match against Maria Sharapova.
The home country must wait for the night session for its marquee match, with Nick Kyrgios taking on boyhood idol Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while Rafael Nadal meets Damir Dzumhur.
Fifteen-year-old Marta Kostyuk faces her fellow Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, the only seed left in a wide open quarter. Second seed Caroline Wozniacki will hope to avoid the drama of her second round comeback when she faces Kiki Bertens.