- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 18, 2012

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Rafael Nadal didn’t drop a set and Roger Federer didn’t pick up a racket. Both reached the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday along with several of the top women.

Nadal beat German veteran Tommy Haas 6-4, 6-3, 6-4, declaring that the twisted tendon in the heavily taped knee was not a concern.

Just before Federer was due on Hisense Arena, the Swiss player found out that his scheduled opponent, Germany’s Andreas Beck, had a back injury and had to withdraw.

“Now, I’ll just take it easy this afternoon and come out tomorrow and hit intensely, and then I’ll be ready for the next match,” said Federer, a four-time Australian Open winner.


Defending champion Kim Clijsters and No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki won their second-round matches Wednesday on their way to a potential quarterfinal meeting.

French Open champion Li Na also advanced, defeating Olivia Rogowska of Australia 6-2, 6-2. She could meet Clijsters in the fourth round in a rematch of last year’s final at Melbourne Park.

American John Isner won a 4-hour, 41-minute marathon, including a 99-minute last set, over former Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian. Isner had 43 aces in his 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (5), 10-8 win.

Nadal, asked after his match if he would have appreciated the same kind of good fortune, was pragmatic.

“Before the day started, yes,” he said, smiling. “Now that I’ve played and won, I’m happy. It was a positive match, but not that demanding. We didn’t play four hours, five hours. Three sets, so it wasn’t that tough.”

Nadal and Federer could meet in the semifinals next week. Top-seeded Novak Djokovic and fourth-seeded Andy Murray, the threats from the other side of the draw, play their second-rounders Thursday.

Clijsters needed only 47 minutes to beat Stephanie Foretz Gacon of France 6-0, 6-1 and Wozniacki defeated Anna Tatishvili of Georgia 6-1, 7-6 (4).

Clijsters said she doesn’t give a lot of thought to who she’ll face down the road of any tournament.

“That’s something that I definitely learned since I was younger … the media people always start to talk about the future, quarterfinal, semifinal, a tough third, fourth round coming up before the tournament even starts,” the Belgian veteran said. “I don’t like to waste my energy on those kind of thoughts.”

Third-seeded Victoria Azarenka, one of five players who could have the No. 1 women’s ranking by the end of the tournament, beat Australian Casey Dellacqua 6-1, 6-0.

Elsewhere on the women’s side, 10th-seeded Francesca Schiavone was eliminated 6-4, 6-3 by fellow Italian Romina Oprandi and No. 16 Peng Shuai of China lost 6-2, 6-4 to Iveta Benesova of Czech Republic.

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