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Sunday, Jul 12th

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Top seed Novak Djokovic and third seed Roger Federer stayed on course for a semi-final showdown at the Australian Open, but had to work hard for their wins, given genuine workouts by seeded opposition.

Djokovic breezed through the opening set of his match with 28th seeded Italian Andreas Seppi, before having to knuckle down and grind out a 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (5) win.

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In what turned out to be a wonderful Wednesday for the seeds at the Australian Open, all 14 of the men in action progressed to the third round, where quite a few of them will now run into each other before the week is out.

World no.1 Novak Djokovic was in action late in the evening, cruising in the opening couple of sets against Frenchman Quentin Halys, before having to battle back from an early break down and needing a tiebreak to progress in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (3). Up next for the 5-time Australian Open champion is the 28th seed Andreas Seppi. The veteran Italian defeated American Denis Kudla in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.

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A warm first day at the Australian Open saw the hottest seeds power their way into the second round with the minimum of fuss with top seed and five-time champion Novak Djokovic and third seed and four-time winner Roger Federer leading the way. Joining the leading duo in the round of 64 were Tomas Berdych, Kei Nishikori, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Marin Cilic. It wasn't a perfect day for the seeds though with 17th seed Benoit Paire and 22nd seed Ivo Karlovic biting the dust.

World no.1 Novak Djokovic is so far ahead of the pack heading into this season's Australian Open that pundits believe that they should just hand him the trophy right now and have everyone else playing for runner-up. Djokovic did little to dispel that myth today, brushing aside the challenge of Korean teenager Hyeon Chung, romping to a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win. Up next for Djokovic is Frenchman Quentin Halys, who stunned Ivan Dodig of Croatia in four sets, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-5.

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On paper Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams face challenging first round matches when they begin their respective Australian Open title defences next week in Melbourne with the Serb drawing South Korean teenager Hyeon Chung, while Serena opens her campaign against the highest ranked unseeded player in the women's draw, world no.35 Camila Giorgi of Italy.

Given Djokovic's form so far this season, he shouldn't really be challenged by any of his early opponents, and the odds-on-favourite for the title faces potential matches against Benoit Paire and Kei Nishikori before a possible semi-final showdown with Roger Federer.

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Twenty five year old Canadian Milos Raonic has made the ideal start to 2016, stunning top seed and defending champion Roger Federer in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4 in the Final of the Brisbane International.

Federer, who had beaten Raonic in last year's final here 12 months ago, looked a shadow of himself as he battled the flu and his opponent, and struggled to produce the kind of tennis that is synonymous with the Swiss legend.

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Swiss legend Roger Federer has announced today that he will indeed be chasing three gold medals at the Olympic Games in Rio next August. Federer, who won silver in the singles event at the London Olympics, and Gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics has his eye on more than one prize next year.

Federer, interviewed in Dubai today by a popular website, said in an interview that he will partner with Stan Wawrinka in the men's doubles event and with Martina Hingis in the Mixed Doubles. The latter indeed will be the talk of the town in the weeks to come with the two Swiss superstars having last played together at the Hopman Cup way back in 2001, an event which they indeed won.

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Former world no.1 Rafael Nadal started his IPTL campaign in India on a positive note, winning both his matches on Thursday evening, as the Super Spaniard readies himself for Saturday's much awaited mega-clash with Roger Federer.

Nadal, playing for the Indian Aces, partnered with local lad Rohan Bopanna to triumph against Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Treat Huey in the Men's Doubles encounter 6-4, and then took on Roger-Vasselin in a singles match, which he won by the same scoreline.

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